Skip to main content

Full text of "Lay Sermons, Addresses, and Reviews"

See other formats


This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 

to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 

to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 

are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other maiginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 

publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing tliis resource, we liave taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 
We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain fivm automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attributionTht GoogXt "watermark" you see on each file is essential for in forming people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liabili^ can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http: //books .google .com/I 


# • 







• • 9 » 

• . •. 

••••••► • • 

• •■- • , • 

• • • ■• ••••,♦ 

» •• - - • . :,• ^: 

•* ^ ^ 

If ontron : 


[The RigM of TrarulaUon and J^eproducHoa is YeM!n»ed.'\ 




• ' • ,•» • 
• • • • 

• • • • 

* m % • • ■ 
• • • ' * • 

, » • • • • 

• * % • 

•• •« • • 
-• •-•••• • 

• • • «» • 

• • • * • » • •• • k • 


Mr DEAB Tyndall, 

I should have liked to provide this collection 
"Lay Sermons, Addreeses, and Reviews," with a 
•edicatiou and a Preface. In the former, 1 should have 
;ed you to allow me to associate your name with the 
ik, chiefly on the ground that the oldest of the papers 
it is a good deal younger than our friendship. In 
latter, I intended to comment upon certain criticisms 
■with which some of these Essays have been met. 

But, on turning the matter over in my mind, I began 

^Jo fear that a formal dedication at the beginning of such 

^■Tolume would look like a grand lodge in front of a set 

IPr cottages : while a complete defence of any of my old 

papers would simply amoimt to writing a new one — a 

labour for which I am, at present, by no means fit. 

Jf The book must go forth, therefore, without any better 

HjobBtitutc for either Dedication, or Preface, than this 

"tetter ; before concluding which it is necessary for me 

to notify you, and any other reader, of two or three 




The first is, that the oldest Essay of the whole, that 
^'On the Educational Value of the Natural History 
Sciences,^ contains a ^iew of the nature of the differences 
between living and not-living bodies out of which I have 
long since grown. 

Secondly, in the same paper, there is a statement con- 
cerning the method of the mathematical sciences, which, 
repeated and expanded elsewhere, brought upon me, 
during the meeting of the British Association at Exeter, 
the artillery of our eminent friend Professor Sylvester. 

No one knows better than you do, how readily I 
should defer to the opinion of so great a mathematician 
if the question at issue were really, as he seems to tliink 
it is, a mathematical one. But I submit, that the dictum 
of a mathematical athlete upon a dijfficult problem which 
mathematics offers to philosophy, has no more special 
weight, than the verdict of that great pedestrian Captain 
Barclay would have had, in settling a disputed point in 
the physiology of locomotion. 

The genius which sighs for new worlds to conquer 
beyond that surprising region in which "geometry, 
algebra, and the theory of numbers melt into one another 
like sunset tints, or the colours of a dying dolphin,'' may 
be of comparatively little service in the cold domain 
(mostly lighted by the moon, some say) of philosophy. 
And the more I think of it, the more does our friend 
seem to me to fall into the position of one of those 
** verstilndige Leute," about whom he makes so apt a 
quotation from Goethe. Surely he has not duly con- 
sidered two points. The first, that I am in no way 


nnswerablc for the origination of the doctrine ha criti- 
Bcises : and the second, that if we are to employ the 
nenns observation, induction, and experiment, in the 
benBe in which he uses them, logic is as much an 
Bpbservational, inductive, and experimental science as 
fcnathematics : and that, I confess, appears to me to be 
Ka reductio ad absurdum of his argument. 
I Thirdly, the essay " On the Physical Basis of Life" was 

■ intended to contain a plain and untechnical statement of 
Rione of the great tendencies of modem biological thought, 
■accompanied by a protest, from the philosophical side, 
■against what is commonly called Materialism. The 
Result of my well-meant efforts I find to be, that I am 
RgeneraUy credited with having invented " protoplasm " 
Kn the interests of "materialism." My unlucky "Lay 
BSermon " has been attacked by microscopists, ignorant 
nlike of Biology and Philosophy ; by philosophers, not 
Rvery learned in either Biology or Microscopy ; by elergy- 
BSien of several denominations ; and by some few writers 
fecho have taken the trouble to understand the subject. 
H trust that these last will believe that I leave the essay 
■Unaltered from no want of respectful attention to all they 
Aave said. 

H Fourthly, I wish to refer all who are interested in 
RliG topics discussed in my address on "Geological Re- 
form," to the reply with which Sir William Thomson has 
honoured me. 

And, lastly, let me say that I reprint the review of 
PThc Origin of Species" simply because it has been 
Kted 05 mine by a late President of the Geological Society. 


If you find its phraseology, in some places, to be more 
vigorous than seems needful, recollect that it was written 
in the heat of our first battles over the Novum Organon 
of biology ; that we were all ten years younger in those 
days ; and last, but not least, that it was not published 
until it had been submitted to the revision of a friend 
for whose judgment I had then, as I have now, the 
greatest respect. 

Ever, my dear Tyndall, 

Yours very faithfully, 


London, June 1870. 




On the Advisablexess of improving Natural Knowledge. 
(A Lay Sennon delivered in St. Martin's Hall, on the evening 
of Sunday, the 7th of Januaiy, 1866, and subsequently published 
in the Fortnightly Review) 3 

Emancipation— Black and Whit'e. (The Reader, May 20th, 1865) 23 


A Liberal Education : and Where to find It. (An Address 
to the South London Working Men% College, delivered on the 
4th of January, 1868, and subsequently published in Macndllan^s 
Magazine) 31 


Scientific Education : Notes of an After-dinner Speech. (De- 
livered before the Liverpool Philoniathic Society in April 1869, 
aod subsequently published in MacmillanU Magazine) 60 


Ok the Educational Value of the Natural History Sciences. 
(An Address delivered at St. Martin's Hall, on the 22d July, 1 854, 
and published as a pamphlet in il at year) « 




On the Study of ZooLoor. (A Lecture delivered at tlie South 
Kensington Museum, in 1861, and subsequently published by the 
Department of Science and Art) lOr 


On the Physical Basis of Life. (A Lay Sermon delivered in 
Edinburgh, on Sunday, the 8th of November, 1868, at the request 
of the late Rev. James Cranbrook ; subsequently published in the 
Fortnightly Revieur) 13: 


The Scientific Aspects of Positivism. (A Reply to Mr. Congreve's 
Attack upon the preceding Paper. Published in the Fortnightly 
Eeview. 1869) 16; 


On a Piece of Chalk. (A Lecture delivered to the Working Men of 
Norwich, during the Meeting of the British Association, in 1868. 
Subsequently published in Macmillan^s Magazine) 19 


Geoloqical Contemporaneity and Persistent Types of Life. (The 
Aimiversary Address to the Geological Society for 1862) .... 22 


Geological Reform. (The Anniversary Address to the Geological 
Society for 1869) 25 

Thb Orioiit of Sfbcibs. (The Westminster Review, April 1860) ... 28 




Criticisms on "The Origin of Species." (The Natural History 

Review, 1864) 328 


On Descartes' " Discourse touching the Method of using One's 
Reason rightly and of seeking Scientific Truth." (An 
Address to the Cambridge Young Men's Christian Society, delivered 
on the 24th of March, 1870, and sulisequently published in 
Ma^rniUlan's Magazine) 351 


' B 


i time two hundred years ago — in the beginning of 
Plwiuary, 1666— those of our forefathers who inhabited 
thia great and ancient city, took breath between the 
shocka of two fearful calamitiea, one not quite past, 
although its fury had abated ; the other to come. 

Within a few yards of the very spot on which we ore 

assembled, so the tradition runs, that painful and 

deadly malady, the plague, appeared in the latter 

months of 1664 ; and, though no new visitor, smote the 

^jeople of England, and especially of her capital, with 

^H violence unknown before, in the course of the following 

Hna^. The band of a master bos pictured what happened 

^Bk those dismal months ; and in that truest of fictions, 

^^The History of the Plague Year," Defoe shows death, 

with every accompaniment of pain and terror, stalking 

through the narrow streets of old London, and changing 

their busy hum into a silence broken only by the 

wailing of the mourners of fifty thousand dead ; by the 

wo ful denunciations and mad prayers of fanatics ; and 

^Bf the madder yells of despairing profligates. 



But, about this time in 1666, the death-rate had 
sunk to nearly its ordinary amount ; a case of plague 
occurred only here and there, and the richer citizens 
who had flown from the pest had returned to their 
dwellings. The remnant of the people began to toil 
at the accustomed round of duty, or of pleasure ; and 
the stream of city life bid fair to flow back along its 
old bed, with renewed and uninterrupted vigour. 

The newly kindled hope was deceitful. The great 
plague, indeed, returned no more ; but what it had 
done for the Londoners, the great fire, which broke 
out in the autumn of 1666, did for London; and, in 
September of that year, a heap of ashes and the inde- 
structible energy of the people were all that remained 
of the glory of five-sixths of the city within the walls. 

Our forefathers had their own ways of accounting 
for each of these calamities. They submitted to the 
plague in humility and in penitence, for they believed 
it to be the judgment of God. But, towards the fire 
they were furiously indignant, interpreting it as the 
effect of the malice of man, — as the work of the. 
Republicans, or of the Papists, according as their pre- 
possessions ran in favour of loyalty or of Puritanism. 

It would, I fancy, have fared but ill with one who, 
standing where I now stand, in what was then a thickly 
peopled and fashionable part of London, should have 
broached to our ancestors the doctrine which I now 
propoimd to you— that all their hypotheses were alike 
— ^ng; that the plague was no more, in their sense, 
e judgment, than the fire was the work of any poli- 
=^' \ or of any religious, sect; but that they were them- 


selves the authors of both plague and fire, and that they 
jist look to themselves to prevent the recurrence of 
nities, to all appearance so peculiarly beyond the 
tch of human control — so evidently the result of the 
vrath of God, or of the craft and subtlety of an enemy. 

And one may picture to oneself how harmoniously 
the holy cursing of the Puritan of that day would have 
chimed in with the unholy cursing and the crackling 
Llrit of the Rochesters and Sedleys, and with the revilinga 
the political fanatics, if my imaginary plain dealer 
1 gone on to say that, if the return of such misfortunes 
e ever rendered impossible, it would not be in Wrtue 
the victory of the faith of Laud, or of that of 
Milton ; and, as little, by the triumph of republicanism, 
as by that of monai-chy. But that the one thing 
needful for compassing this end was, that the people 
of England should second the efforts of an insignificant 
corporation, the establishment of which, a few years 
befoi-e the epoch of the great plague and the great fire, 
had been as little noticed, as they were conspicuous, 

tSome twenty years before the outbreak of the plague 
few calm and thoughtful students banded themselves 
jcther for the purpose, as they phrased it, of " ira- 
oving natural knowledge." The ends they proposed 
to attain cannot be stated more clearly than in the 
words of one of the founders of the organization : — 

" Our business was (precluding matters of theology 
and state affairs) to discourse and consider of philo- 
sophical enquiries, and such as related thereunto : — as 
Physick, Anatomy, Geometry, Astronomy, Navigation, 
Staticka, Magneticks, Chymicks, Meehanicks, and 


Natural Experiments ; with the state of these studies 
and their cultivation at home and abroad. We then 
discoursed of the circulation of the blood, the valves 
in the veins, the venae lacteae, the lymphatic vessels, 
the Copemican hypothesis, the nature of comets and 
new stars, the satellites of Jupiter, the oval shape (as 
it then appeared) of Saturn, the spots on the sun and 
its turning on its own axis, the inequalities and seleno- 
graphy of the moon, the several phases of Venus and 
Mercury, the improvement of telescopes and grinding 
of glasses for that purpose, the weight of air, the 
possibility or impossibility of vacuities and nature's ab- 
horrence thereof, the Torricellian experiment- in quick- 
silver, the descent of heavy bodies and the degree of 
acceleration therein, with divers other things of like 
nature, some of which were then but new discoveries, 
and others not so generally known and embraced as 
now they are ; with other things appertaining to what 
hath been called the New Philosophy, which, fix>m 
the times of Galileo at Florence, and Sir Francis Bacon 
(Lord Verulam) in England, hath been much cultivated 
in Italy, France, Germany, and other parts abroad, a^ 
well as with us in England." 

The learned Dr. WaDis, writing in 1696, narrates, in 
these words, what happened half a century before, or 
about 1645. The associates met at Oxford, in the 
rooms of Dr. Wilkins, who was destined to become a 
bishop ; and subsequently coming together in London, 
they attracted the notice of the king. And it is a 
strange evidence of the taste for knowledge which the 
most obviously worthless of the Stuarts shared with 
his father and /Indfather, that Charles the Second 




■as not content with saying witty things about his 

philosophers, but did wise things with regard to them. 

For he not only bestowed upon them such attention 

fis he could spare from his poodles and his mistresses, 

but, being in hia usual state of impecunioaity, begged 

Lor them of the Duke of Ormond ; and, that step being 

Bthout effect, gave them Chelsea College, a charter, 

a mace : crowning his favours in the beat way 

ly could be crowned, by burdening them no further 

ith royal patronage or state interference. 

Thus it was that the half-dozen young men, studious 

the " New Philosophy," who met in one another's 

gings in Oxford or in London, in the middle of the 

seventeenth century, grew in numerical and in real 

strength, until, in its latter part, the "Royal Society 

for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge, " had 

already become famous, and had acquired a claim upon 

the veneration of Englishmen, which it has ever since 

retained, as the principal focus of scientific activity 

in our islands, and the chief champion of the cause 

was formed to support. 

It was by the aid of the Royal Society that Newton 
ibliabed his "Priucipia." If all the hooks in the 
world, except the Philosophical Transactions, were de- 
stroyed, it is safe to say that the foundations of physical 
science would remain unshaken, and that the vast 
intellectual progress of the last two centuries would he 
largely, though incompletely, recorded. Nor have any 
signs of halting or of decrepitude manifested themselves 
in our own times. As in Dr. Wallis's days, so in these, 
business is, precluding theology and state affairs, 
discourse and consider of phUosophieal enquiries." 


But our " Mathematick ** is one which Newton would 
have to go to school to learn ; our " Staticks, Mechanicks, 
Magneticks, Chymicks, and Natural Experiments " con- 
stitute a mass of physical and chemical knowledge, a 
glimpse at which would compensate Galileo for the 
doings of a score of inquisitorial cardinals ; our ** Physick" 
and "Anatomy" have embraced such infinite varieties 
of being, have laid open such new worlds in time and 
space, have grappled, not unsuccessfully, with such 
complex problems, that the eyes of Vesalius and of 
Harvey might be dazzled by the sight of the tree that 
has grown out of their grain of mustard seed. 

The fact is perhaps rather too much, than too little, 
forced upon one's notice, nowadays, that all this mar- 
vellous intellectual growth has a no less wonderful 
expression in practical life ; and that, in this respect, 
if in no other, the movement symbolized by the progress 
of the Royal Society stands without a parallel in the 
history of mankind. 

A series of Volumes as bulky as the Transactions of 
the Royal Society might possibly be filled with the 
subtle speculations of the schoolmen ; not improbably, 
the obtaining a mastery over the products of mediaeval 
thought might necessitate an even greater expenditure of 
time and of energy than the acquirement of the " New 
Philosophy ; " but though such work engrossed the best 
intellects of Europe for a longer time than has elapsed 
since the great fire, its effects were " writ in water," so 
far as our social state is concerned. 

On the other hand, if the noble first President of the 
Royal Society could revisit the upper air and once more 


gladden his eyes with a sight of the familiar mace, he 
would find himself in the midst of a material civilization 
more different from that of his day, than that of the 
seventeenth, was from that of the first, century. And if 
Lord Bi'ouncker'a native sagacity had not desei-ted his 
ghost, he would need no long reflection to discover that 
all these great ships, these railways, these telegraphs, 
these factories, these printing presses, without which the 
whole fabric of modern English society would collapse 
into a mass of stagnant and starving pauperism, ^that 
all these pillars of our State are but the ripples and the 
bubbles upon the surface of that great spiritual sti'cani, 
the springs of which, only, he and his fellows were 
privileged to see ; and seeing, to recognise as that which 
it behoved them above all things to keep pure and 

It may not be too great a flight of imagination to 
meeive our noble rev&nant not forgetful of the great 
troubles of his own day, and anxious to know how often 
London had been burned down since his time, and how 
often the plague had carried off its thousands. He would 
have to learn that, although London contains tenfold the 
.ammable matter that it did in 1666; though, not 
tent with filling our rooms with woodwork and light 
ipcrics, we must needs lead inflammable and explosive 
!S into every comer of our streets and houses, we 
er allow even a street to bum down. And if he 
;ed how this had come about, we should have to 
[plain that the improvement of natm-al knowledge haa 
■nished us with dozens of machines for throwing 
,ter upon fires, anyone of which would have furnished 
ingenious Mr, Hooke, the first " curator and ex- 


urging, that its improvement can only add to the resources 
of our material civilization ; admitting it to be possible that 
the founders of the Royal Society themselves looked for 
no other reward than this, I cannot confess that I was 
guilty of exaggeration when I hinted, that to him who 
had the gift of distinguishing between prominent events 
and important events, the origin of a combined eflFort on 
the part of mankind to improve natural knowledge 
might have loomed larger than the Plague and have out- 
shone the glare of the Fire ; as a something fraught with 
a wealth of beneficence to mankind, in comparison with 
which the damage done by those ghastly evils would 
shrink into insignificance. 

It is very certain that for every victim slain by 
the plague, hundreds of mankind exist and find a fair 
share of happiness in the world, by the aid of the 
spinning jenny. And the great fire, at its worst, could 
not have burned the supply of coal, the daily working 
of which, in the bowels of the earth, made possible by 
the steam pump, gives rise to an amount of wealtTi to 
which the millions lost in old London are but as an 
old song. 

But spinning jenny and steam pump are, after all, but 
toys, possessing an accidental value ; and natural know- 
ledge creates multitudes of more subtle contrivances, the 
praises of which do not happen to be sung because they 
are not directly convertible into instruments for creating 
wealth. When I contemplate natural knowledge squan- 
dering such gifts among men, the only appropriate 
comparison I can find for her is, to liken her to such a 
peasant woman as one sees in the Alps, striding ever 


iward, heavily burdeiietl, auJ with mind beut only on 
her home ; but yet, without effort and without thought, 
knitting for her children. Now stockiDgs ai-e good and 
comfortable things, and the children will undoubtedly 
be much the better for them ; but surely it would be 
short-sighted, to say the least of it, to depreciate this 
toiling mother as a mere stocking-macliine — a mere 
provider of physical comforts ? 

However, there are bliDd leaders of the blind, and not 
a few of them, who take this view of natural knowledge, 
and can aec nothing in the bountiful mother of humanity 
but a sort of comfort-grinding machine. According to 
them, the improvement of natural knowledge always has 
I, and alwaj's must be, synonymous with no more 
the improvement of the material resources and the 
of the gratifications of men. 

Natural knowledge is, iu their eyes, no real mother of 
lankind, bringing them up with kinduess, and, if need 
be, with sternness, in the way they should go, and 
instructing them in all thiugs neetlful for their welfare ; 
but a sort of fairy godmother, ready to furnish her pets 
with shoes of swiftness, swords of sharpness, and omni- 
potent Aladdin's lamps, so that they may have telegraplis 
to Saturn, and see the other side of the moon, and thank 
God they are better than their l>enighted ancestors. 

If this talk were true, I, for one, should not greatly 
to toil in the service of natural knowledge. I think 
I would just aa soon be quietly chipping my own flint 
axe, after the manner of my forefathers a few thousand 
years back, aa be troubled with the endless malady of 
thought which now infests us all, for such reward. But 
I venture to say that such views are contrary alike to 


reason and to fact. Those who discourse in such fashion 
seem to me to be so intent upon trying to see what is 
above Nature, or what is behind her, that they are blind 
to what stares them in the face, in her. 

I should not venture to speak thus strongly if my 
justification were not to be found in the simplest and most 
obvious facts, — if it needed more than an appeal to the 
most notorious truths to justify my assertion, that the 
improvement of natural knowledge, whatever direction 
it has taken, and however low the aims of those who 
may have commenced it — has not only conferred prac- 
tical benefits on men, but, in so doing, has effected a 
revolution in their conceptions of the universe and of 
themselves, and has profoundly altered their modes of 
thinking and their views of right and wrong. I say 
that natural knowledge, seeking to satisfy natural wants, 
has foimd the ideas which can alone still spiritual 
cravings. I say that natural knowledge, in desiring to 
ascertain the laws of comfort, has been driven to discover 
those of conduct, and to lay the foundations of a new 

Let us take these points separately ; and, first, what 
great ideas has natural knowledge introduced into men's 
minds ? 

I cannot but think that the foundations of all natural 
knowledge were laid when the reason of man first came 
face to face with 4he facts of Nature : when the savage 
first learned that the fingers of one hand are fewer than 
those of both ; that it is shorter to cross a stream than 
to head it ; that a stone stops where it is unless it be 
moved, and that it drops fi:om the hand which lets it go; 


' -that light and heat come and go with the sun ; that 
8ticks l)uni away in a fire ; that plants and animals grow 
and die : that if he struck his fellow-savage a blow he 
would make him angry, and perhaps get a blow in return, 
while if he offered him a fruit he would please him, and 
perhaps receive a fish in exchange. When men had 
acquired this much knowledge, the outlines, rude though 
they were, of mathematics, of physics, of chemistry, of 
biology, of moral, economical, and political science, were 
sketched. Nor did the germ of religion fail when 
science began to bud. Listen to words which, though 
new, are yet three thoufland years old : — 


" , . . When in heaven the stara about the mo< 
Look beantifnl, when all the winds are laid, 
And every height cornea out, and jutting peak 
And valley, and the immeasuriihle heavens 
Break open to theit highest, and all the slurs 
Shine, and the shepherd gLkddenfi ii) hi» henrt." ' 

If the half-savage Greek could share our feelings 
thus far, it is irrational to doubt that he went further, 
to find, as we do, that upon that brief gladness there 
follows a certain sorrow, — the little light of awakened 
human intelligence shines so mere a spark amidst the 
abyss of the unknown and unknowable ; seems so in- 
sufficient to do more than illuminate the imperfections 
that cannot be remedied, the aspirations that cannot be 
idized, of man's own nature. But in this sadness, this 
ciuusness of the limitation of man, this sense of an 
ten secret which he cannot penetrate, lies the essence of 
I religion ; and the attempt to embody it in the forms 
Tiiahed by the intellect is the origin of the higher 

' Need it be said that this id Tennyson's English for Homer'a Greek 1 


Thus it seems impossible to imagine but that the 
foundations of all knowledge — secular or sacred — were 
laid when intelligence dawned, though the superstructure 
remained for long ages so slight and feeble as to be 
compatible with the existence of almost any general 
view respecting the mode of governance of the universe. 
No doubt, from the first, there were certain phenomena 
which, to the rudest mind, presented a constancy of 
occurrence, and suggested that a fixed order ruled, 
at any rate, among them. I doubt if the grossest of 
Fetish worshippers ever imagined that a stone must have 
a god within it to make it fall, or that a fruit had a god 
within it to make it taste sweet. With regard to such 
matters as these, it is hardly questionable that man- 
kind firom the first took strictly positive and scientific 

But, with respect to all the less famDiar occurrences 
which present themselves, uncultured man, no doubt, has 
always taken himself as the standard of comparison, as 
the centre and measure of the world ; nor could he well 
avoid doing so. And finding that his apparently im- 
caused will has a powerful effect in giving rise to many 
occurrences, he naturally enough ascribed other and 
greater events to other and greater volitions, and came 
to look upon the world and all that therein is, as the 
product of the volitions of persons like himself but 
stronger, and capable of being appeased or angered, as 
he himself might be soothed or irritated. Through such 
conceptions of the plan and working of the universe all 
mankind have passed, or are passing. And we may now 
consider, what has been the efiect of the improvement 
of natural knowledge on the views of men who have 


reached this stage, and who have begun to cultivate 
natural knowledge with no desire but that of "increasing 
God's honour and bettering man's estate." 

For example : what could seem wiser, from a mere 
material point of view, more ijinocent, from a theological 
one, to an ancient people, than that they should learn 
the exact succession of the seasons, as warnings for their 
husbandmen ; or the position of the stars, as guides to 
their rude navigators 1 But what has grown out of this 
search for natural knowledge of so merely useful a 
character? You all kuow the reply. Astronomy, — 
which of all sciences has filled men's minds with general 
ideas of a character most foreign to their daily ex- 
perience, and has, more than any other, rendered it 
impossible for them to accept the beliefs of their fathers. 
Astronomy, — which tells them that this so vast and 
seemingly solid earth is but an atom among atoms, 
whirling, no man knows whither, through illimitable 
space ; which demonstrates that what we call the peace- 
ful heaven above us, is but that space, fiUed by au 
infinitely subtle matter whose particles are seething and 
surging, like the waves of an angry sea ; which opens 
up to us infinite regions where nothing is known, or 
ever seems to have been known, but matter and force, 
operating according to rigid rules ; which leads us to 
contemplate phenomena the very nature of which 
demonstrates that they must have had a beginning, and 
that they must have an end, but the very nature of 
which also proves that the beginning was, to our concep- 
tions of time, infinitely remote, and that the end is as 
immeasurably distant. 

But it is not alone those who pursue astronomy who 


ask for bread and receive ideas. What more harmless 
than the attempt to lift and distribute water by pumping 
it ; what more absolutely and grossly utilitarian ? But 
out of pumps grew the discussions about Nature's 
abhorrence of a vacuum; and then it was discovered 
that Nature does not abhor a vacuum, but that air has 
weight ; and that notion paved the way for the doctrine 
that all matter has weight, and that the force which 
produces weight is co-extensive with the universe, — in 
short, to the theory of universal gravitation and endless 
force. While learning how to handle gases led to the 
discovery of oxygen, and to modem chemistry, and to 
the notion of the indestructibility of matter. 

Again, what simpler, or more absolutely practical, 
than the attempt to keep the axle of a wheel from 
heating when the wheel turns round very fast ? How 
useful for carters and gig drivers to know something 
about this ; and how good were it, if any ingenious 
person would find out the cause of such phenomena, 
and thence educe a general remedy for them. Such 
an ingenious person was Count Eumford ; and he and 
his successors have landed us in the theory of the per- 
sistence, or indestructibility, of force. And in the in- 
finitely minute, as in the infinitely great, the seekers 
after natural knowledge, of the kinds called physical and 
chemical, have everywhere found a definite order and 
succession of events which seem never to be infidnged. 

And how has it fared with *' Physick " and Anatomy 1 
Have the anatomist, the physiologist, or the physician, 
whose business it has been to devote themselves as- 
siduously to that eminently practical and direct end, the 
alleviation of the sufiferings of mankind, — ^have they 



able to confine their vision more absolutely to the 

,ctly useful ? I feai- they are worst ofFendera of all. 

For if the astronomer has set before us the infinite 

magnitude of space, and the practical eternity of the 

duration of the universe; if the physical and chemical 

philosophei-s have demonstrated the infinite minuteness 

of its constituent parts, and the practical eternity of 

matter and of force ; and if both have alike proclaimed 

the universality of a definite and prcdicable order and 

succession of events, the workers in biology have not 

only accepted all these, but have added more startling 

theses of their own. For, as the astronomera discover in 

the earth no centre of the universe, but an eccentric 

ick, BO the naturalists find man to be no centre of 

,e living world, but one amidst endless modifications 

of life ; and as the astronomer observes the mark of 

practically endless time set upon the arrangements of 

the solar system, so the student of life finds the records 

of ancient forms of existence peopling the world for ages, 

.which, iu relation to human experience, are infinite. 

Furthermore, the physiologist finds life to be as 

(pendent for its manifestation on particular molecular 

igements as any physical or chemical phenomenon ; 

id, wherever he extends his researches, fixed order 

unchanging causation reveal themselves, as plainly 

1 the rest of Nature. 

Nor can I find that any other fate has awaited the 

germ of Religion. Arising, like all other kinds of 

knowledge, out of the action and interaction of man's 

mind, with that which is not man's mind, it has taken 

the intellectual coverings of Fetishism or Polj'theism ; of 

'heiam or Atheism ; of Supergtitiou or Rationalism. 



With these, and their relative merits and demerit I 
have nothing to do : but this it is needfbl for my 
puTfvose to say, that if the religion of the joesent diffen 
from that of the past, it is becaose the theology of the 
present has become more scientific than that of the past; 
because it has not only renounced idols of wood and 
idols of stone, but begins to see the necesratj of bieakiDg 
in pieces the idols built up of books and traditions and 
finC'Spun ecclesiastical cobwebs : and of cherishing the 
noblest and most human of man's emotions^ bjr worship 
"' for the most part of the silent aort** at the altar of the 
Unknown and Unknowable. 

Such are a few of the new conceptions implanted in 
our minds by the improvement of natural knowledge. 
]^[en have acquired the ideas of the practically infinite 
extent of the universe and of its practical eternity; 
they are familiar with the conception that our earth 
is but an infinitesimal fragment of that part of the 
universe w hich can be seen ; and that, nevertheless, its 
duration is, as compared with our standards of time, 
infinite. They have further acquired the idea that man 
is but one of innumerable forms of life now existing in 
the globe, and that the present existences are but the 
last of an immeasurable series of predecessors. More- 
over, every step they have made in natural knowledge 
has tended to extend and rivet in their minds the con- 
cq>tion of a definite order of the universe — ^which is 
cniljodicd in what are. called, by an unhappy metaphor, 
tlic laws of Nature — and to narrow the range and 
loosen the force of men's belief in spontaneity, or in 
changes other than such as arise out of that definite 
order itself. 


Whether these ideas are well or ill founded is uot the 
question. No one can deny that they exist, antl have 
been the inevitable outgrowth of the improvement of 
natural knowledge. And if so, it cannot Ijc doubted 
that they are changing the form of men's moat cherished 
and moat important convictions. 

And as regards the second point — the extent to which 
the improvement of knowledge has remodelled 
and altered what may l)e termed the intellectual ethics 
of men, — what are among the moral convictions most 
fondly held by barbarous and semi-barbarous people? 

They are the convictions that authority is the soundest 
basis of belief ; that merit attaches to a readineaa to 
iielieve ; that the doubting disposition is a bad one, 
and scepticism a sin ; that when good autliority has 
]>ronounced what ia to be believed, and faith haa ac- 
i-ejited it, reason haa no further duty. There are many 
excellent persons who yet hold by these principles, and 
it ia not my present business, or intention, to 
(Ueir views. All I wish to bring clearly before your 
minds is the unquestionable fact, that the improvement 
of natural knowledge ia effected by methods wliicli 
directly give the lie to all these convictions, and assume 
exact reverse of each to be true. 

The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses 

acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism 
ia the highest of duties ; blind faith the one unpardon- 
iible sin. And it cannot be otherwise, for every great 
lulvance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute 
rejection of authority, the cherishing of the keenest 
iwepticism, the annihilation of flie spirit of blind faiih : 





and the most ardent votary of science holds his firmest 
convictions, not because the men he most venerates 
hold them ; not because their verity is testified by 
portents and wonders ; but because his experience teaches 
him that whenever he chooses to bring these convictions 
into contact with their primary source, Nature — when- 
ever he thinks fit to test them by appealing to experiment 
and to observation — Nature w^ll confirm them. The 
man of science has learned to believe in justification, 
not by faith, but by verification. 

Thus, without for a moment pretending to despise 
the practical results of the improvement of natural 
knowledge, and its beneficial influence on material civili- 
zation, it must, I think, be admitted that the great 
ideas, some of which I have indicated, and the ethical 
spirit which I have endeavoured to sketch, in the few 
moments which remained at my disposal, constitute the 
real and permanent significance of natural knowledge. 

If these ideas be destined, as I believe they are, to 
be more and more firmly established as the world grows 
older; if that spirit be fated, as I believe it is, to 
extend itself into all departments of human thought, and 
to become co-extensive with the range of knowledge ; if, 
as our race approaches its maturity, it discovers, as I be- 
lieve it will, that there is but one kind of knowledge and 
but one method of acquiring it ; then we, who are still 
children, may justly feel it our highest duty to recognise 
the advisableness of improving natural knowledge, and 
so to aid ourselves and our successors in their course 
towards the noble goal which lies before mankind. 


EJuashie's plaintive inquiry, "Am I not a man and a 
brother ? " seems at laat to Iiave received its final reply — 
the recent decision of the fierce trial by battle on the 
other side of the Atlantic fully coucurring with that long 
since delivered here in a more peaceful way. 

The question is settled ; but even those who are most 

thoroughly convinced that the doom is just, must sec 

good groimds for repudiatmg half the arguments which 

have been employed by the winning side ; and for 

doubting whether its idtimate results will embody the 

liopcs of the victors, though they may more than realize 

the fears of the vanquished. It may l>c quite true that 

/ some negroes are better than some white men ; but no 

tional man, cognizant of the facts, believes that the 

'eragc negro is the equal, still less the superior, of the 

lerage white man. And, if this be true, it 18 simply 

dible that, when all his ilisablHties arc removed, and 

• prognathous relative has a fair field and no favour, 

I well as no oppressor, ho will be able to compete 

fficcssfully with his bigger-brained and smaller-jawed 


rival, in n contest which is to be carried on by thoughts 
and not by bites. The highest places m the hierarchy of 
civilization will assuredly not be within the reach of our 
dusky cousins, though it is by no means necessary that 
they should be restricted to the lowest. But whatevop 
the position of stable equilibrium into which the laws of 
social gravitation may bring the negro, all resjxinsibility 
for the result will henceforward lie between Nature aud.' 
liim. The white man may wash his hands of it, and tha 
Caucasian conscience be void of reproach for evermore. 
And this, if we look to the bottom of the matter, is the 
real justification for the abolition policy. 

The doctrine of equal natural rights may l)e an illogicfj 
delusion ; emancipation may convert the slave from a 
well fed animal into a pauperised man ; mankind may 
even have to do without cotton shirts ; but all these evita 
must be faced, if the moral law, that no human be 
can arbitrarily dominate over another without grievous 
damage to his own nature, be, as many think, as readily 
demonstrable by experiment as any physical truth. If 
this be true, no slaveiy can lie abolished without a double 
emancipation, and the master will benefit by freedom 
more than the freed-man. 

The like considerations apply to all the other questiouff 
of emancipation which are at present stirring the world — * 
the multifarious demands that classes of mankind shall 
be relieved from restrictions imposed by the artifice 
man, and not by the necessities of Nature. One of the 
most important, if not the most important, of all these, ia 
tliat which daily threatens to become the "irrepressible 
woman question. What social and pobtical rights harti 
women ? What ought they to be allowed, or not allowed) 


to do, be, aud suffer ? And, as involved iu, and under- 
lying all these questions, how ought they to be educated? 
There are philogynists as fanatical as any "misogu- 
uists" who, reversing our antiquated uotious, bid the 
man look upon the woman as the higher type of 
humanity ; who ask us to regard the female intellect as 
the clearer and the quicker, if not the stronger ; who 
desire us to look up to the feminine moral sense as the 
purer and the nobler ; and bid man abdicate his usurped 
sovereignty over Nature in favour of the female line. 
On the other baud, there are persona not to be outdone 
in all loyalty and just respect for woman-kind, but by 
nature hard of head and haters of delusion, however 
charming, who not only repudiate the new woman- 
woi-ship which so many sentimentalists and some philo- 
sophers are desirous of setting up, but, carrying their 
audacity further, deny even the natural equality of the 
sexes. They assert, on the contrary, that in every 
excellent character, whether mental or physicnJ, the 
average woman is inferior to the average man, in the 
sense of having that character less in quautity, and lower 
in quabty. Tell these persons of the rapid perceptions and 
the instinctive intellectual insight of women, and they 
reply that the feminine mental peculiarities, which pass 
under these names, are merely the outcome of a greater 
impressibility to the superficial aspects of things, and of 
the absence of that restraint upon expression, which, in 
men, is imposed by reflection and a sense of responsibility. 
Talk of the passive endurance of the weaker sex, and 
opponents of this kind remind you that Job was a man, 
and that, until quite recent times, patience and long- 
Buffering were not counted among the specially feminine 


\*irtiics. Claim passionate tenderness as espccialt 
feminine, and the inquiry is made whether all the beS 
lovc-poetry in existence (except, perhaps, tlie "Sonnt 
from the Portuguese") has not been ■written by men 
whether the song which embodies the iileal of pure 
tender passion — Adelaida — was written by Finu Beeth- 
oven ; whetlier it was the Fornarina, or Raphael, who 
painted the Siatine Madonna. Nay, we have known oi 
such heretic go so far as to lay his hands upon the ai 
itself, so to speak, and to defend the startling paradoj 
that, even in physical beauty, man is the superior. Bj 
admitted, indeed, that there was a brief period of earfj 
youth when it might be hard to say whether the prizft 
should be awarded to the graceful undulations of the 
female figure, or the perfect balance and supple vigour e/t. 
the male frame. But while our new Paris might hesitate 
between the youthful Bacchus and the Venus emerging 
from the foam, he aveiTed that, when Venus and Baccht 
had reached thirty, the point no longer admitted of 
doubt; the male form having then attained its greate 
nobility, while the female is far gone in decadence ; an 
that, at this epoch, womanly beauty, so fax as it is indfl 
pendent of grace or expression, is a question of draper 
and accessories. 

Supposing, however, that all these arguments have 
certain foundation ; admitting for a moment, that ther^ 
are comparable to those by which the inferiority of tlw 
negro to the white man may be demonstrated, are tin 
of any value as against woman-emancipatiou ? Do the 
afford us the smallest ground for refusing to educal 
women as well as men'— to give women the same civi 
and political rights as men ? No mistake ia so eommonlj 


made by clever people as that of assuming a cause to be 
bad because the arguments of its supporters are, to a 
great extent, nonsensical. And we conceive that those 
who may laugh at the arguments of the extreme 
philogynists, may yet feel bound to work heart and soul 
towards the attainment of their practical ends. 

As regards education, for example. Granting the 
alleged defects of women, is it not somewhat absurd to 
sanction and maintain a system of education which 
would seem to have been specially contrived to cx- 
gerate all these defects 1 

Naturally not so firmly stnmg, nor so well balanced, 
■ as boys, girls are in great measure debarred from the 
siwrta and physical exercises which are justly thought 
absolutely neces-^ary for the full development of the 
vigour of the more favoured sex. Women are, by nature, 
more excitable than men — prone to be swept by tides of 
emotion, proceeding from hidden and inward, as well as 
from obvious and external causes ; and female education 
does its bcBt to weaken every physical counterpoise to 

Eg nervous mobility — tends in all ways to stimulate the 
otional part of the mind and stunt the rest. We find 
Is naturally timid, inclined to dependence, Irorn con- 
vativcs ; and we teach them that independence is 
' unladylike ; that blind faith is the right frame of mind ; 
and that whatever we may be permitted, and indeed 
encouraged, to do to our brother, our sister is to be left 
to the tyranny of authority and tradition. With few 
insignificant exceptions, girls have been educated either 
to be drudge?, or toys, beneath man ; or a sort of angels 
above him; the highest ideal aimed at oscillating between 
lliirchcu and Beatrice. The possibility that the ideal of 



womanhood lies neither in the fail* saint, nor in the \ 
sinner ; that the female tyjie of character is neiti 
better nor worse than the male, but onJy weaker ; 1 
women are meant ueither to be men's guides nor thrarl 
playthingSj but their comrades, their fellows and their 
equals, so far as Nature puts no bar to that equality, docs 
not seem to have entered into the minds of those whu 
have had the conduct of the education of girls. 

If the present system of female education stands self- 
condemned, as inherently absurd ; and if that which we 
have just indicated is the true position of woman, what 
is the first step towards a better state of things ? We 
reply, emancipate girls. Recognise the fact that they 
share the senses, perceptions, feelings, reasoning powers, 
emotions, of boys, and that the mind of the average girl 
is less different from tliat of the average boy, than the 
mind of one boy is from that of another; so that what- 
ever argument justifies a given education for all boys, 
justifies its application to girls as well. So far from 
imposing artificial restrictions upon the acq.uirement of,-; 
knowledge by women, tlirow every facility in their wa-ig 
Let our Faustinas, if they will, toil through the whd 
round of 

"Juristerei iind Medizin, 
Und letder ! a«ch PMlosophie. " 

Let us have " sweet girl graduates " by all means, Thi 
will be none the less sweet for a little wisdom ; and the 
"golden hair" will not curl less gracefully outside the 
head by reason of there being brains within. Nay, if 
obvious practical difficulties can be overcome, let thi 
women who feel inclined to do so descend into 
^Jfldiatorial arena of life, not merely in the guise 



Btiaries, as heretofore, but as bold sicarice, breasting the 
X>-j>en fray. Let them, if they ao please, become mer- 
^sliante, bfuristere, politicians. Let them have a fair field, 
kjut let them underataud, as the necessar}- correlative, 
"Wiat they are to have no favour. Let Nature alone sit 
■iiigh above the lists, " rain influence and judge the 

And the result? For our parts, though loth to 
"Jjrophesy, we believe it will be that of other emaoci- 
■j)ation8. Women will find their place, and it will neither 
l>e that in which they have been held, nor that to which 
some of them aspire. Nature's old salique law will not 
\je repealed, and no change of dynasty will be effected. 
The big cheats, the massive brains, the vigorous muscles 
nd stout frames, of the best men will carry the day, 
jwhenever it is worth their while to contest the prizes of 
ife with the best women. And the hardship of it is, 
i&t the very improvement of the women will lessen 
«ir chances. Better mothers will bring forth better 
and the impetus gained by the one sex will be 
Lsmitted, in tlie next generation, to tlie other. The 
most Darwinian of theorists will not venture to pro- 
«und the doctrine, that the physical disabilities under 
irhich women have hitherto labom^d, in the straggle for 
listeuce with men, are likely to be removed by even the 
aaost skilfully conducted process of educational selection. 
AVe arc, indeed, fully prepared to believe that the 
bearing of children may, and ought, to become as free 
from danger and long disability, to the civilized woman, 
as it is to the savage ; nor is it improbable that, aa 
society advances towards its right oi^anization, mother- 
hood will occupy a leas space of womiiii's life than it has 


Mtherto done. But still, unless the human species is to 
come to an end altogether — a consummation which can 
hardly be desired by even the most ardent advocate of 
^' women's rights " — somebody must be good enough to 
^ take the trouble and responsibility of annually adding to 
the world exactly as many people as die out of it. In 
consequence of some domestic difficulties, Sydney Smith 
is said to have suggested that it would have been good 
for the human race had the model offered by the hive 
been followed, and had all the working part of the female 
•community been neuters. Failing any thorough-going 
reform of this kind, we see nothing for it but the old 
division of humanity into men potentially, or actually, 
fathers, and women potentially, if not actually, mothers. 
And we fear that so long as this potential motherhood is 
her lot, woman will be found to be fearfully weighted in 
the race of life. 

The duty of man is to see that not a grain is piled 
upon that load beyond what Nature imposes ; that 
injustice is not added to inequality. 

The businoBS wliich the South London Working Men's 
College has undertaken is a great work ; indeed, I might 
.say, that Education, with which that college proposes to 
grapple, is the gi-eatest work of all those «'hieh lie ready- 
to a man's hand just at present. 

And, at length, this fact is becoming generally recog- 
nised. You cannot go anywhere without hearing a buzz 
of more or less confused and contradictory talk on this 
subject — nor can you fail to notice that, in one point at 
any rate, there is a very decided advance upon like 
discussions in fonuei' days. Nobody outside the agri- 
cultural interest now dares to say that education is a 
bad thing. If any representative of the once largo and 
powerful party, which, in former days, proclaimed this 
opinion, still exists in a semi-fossil state, he keeps his 
thoughts to himself. In fact, there is a chorus of voices, 
almost distressing in their harmony, raised in favour of 
the doctrine that education is the great panacea for 
human troubles, and that, if the country is not shortly 
to go to the dogs, everybody must be educated. 


The politicians tell us, " you must educate the masses 
because they are going to be masters." The clergy join 
in the cry for education, for they affirm that the people 
are drifting away from church and chapel into the 
broadest infidelity. The manufacturers and the capita- 
lists swell the chorus lustily. They declare that igno- 
rance makes bad workmen; that England will soon be 
unable to turn out cotton goods, or steam engines, 
cheaper than other people ; and then, Ichabod 1 Ichabod ! 
the glory will be departed from us. And a few voices 
are lifted up in favour of the doctrine that the masses 
should be educated because they are men and women 
with unlimited capacities of being, doing, and sufiering, 
and that it is as true now, as ever it was, that the people 
perish for lack of knowledge. 

These members of the minority, with whom I confess 
I have a good deal of sympathy, are doubtful whether 
any of the other reasons urged in favour of the education 
of the people are of much value — whether, indeed, some 
of them are based upon either wise or noble grounds of 
action. They question if it be wise to tell people that 
you will do for them, out of fear of their power, what 
you have left undone, so long as your only motive was 
compassion for their weakness and their sorrowa And, if 
ignorance of everything which it is needful a ruler should 
know is likely to do so much harm in the governing 
classes of the future, why is it, they ask reasonably 
enough, that such ignorance in the governing classes of 
the past has not been viewed with equal horror ? 

Compare the average artisan and the average countiy 
squire, and it may be doubted if you will find a pin to 
choose between the two in point of ignorance, class 


feeling, or prejudice. It ia true that the ignorance is of 
a different sort — that the class feeling is in favour of a 
different class, and that the prejudice has a distinct 
flavour of wrong-headedness in each case — but it ia 
questionable jf the one la either a bit better, or a bit 
worse, than the other. The old protectionist theory is 
the doctrine of trades unions as applied by the squires, 
and the modem trades unionism is the doctrine of the 
squires applied by the artisans. Why should we be 
worse off under one regime than under the other? 

Again, this sceptical minority asks the clergy to think 
whether it is really want of education which keeps the 
masses away from their ministrations— whether the most 
completely educated men are not as open to reproach on 
this score as the workmen ; and whether, perchance, this 
may not indicate that it is not education which lies at 
the bottom of the matter ? 

Once more, these people, whom there is no pleasing, 
venture to doubt whether the glory, which rests upon 
being able to undersell all the rest of the world, is a very 
safe kind of glory — whether we may not purchase it too 
dear ; especially if we allow education, which ought to 
be directed to the making of men, to be diverted into a 
process of manufacturing human tools, wonderfully adroit 
in the exercise of some technical industry, but good for 

t thing else. 
And, finally, these people inquire whether it is the 
isses alone who need a reformed mid improved educa- 
tion. They afik whether the richest of our public schools 
might not well be made to supply knowledge, as well as 
gentlemanly habits, a strong class feeling, and eminent 
proficiency in cricket. They seem to think that the noble 


foundations of our old universities are hardly fulfilling 
their functions in their present posture of half-clerical 
seminaries, half racecourses, where men are trained to 
win a senior wranglership, or a double-first, as horses arc 
trained to win a cup, with as little reference to the needs 
of after-life in the case of the man as in that of the 
racer. And, while as zealous for education as the rest, 
they affirm that, if the education of the richer classes 
were such as to fit them to be the leaders and the 
governors of the poorer ; and, if the education of the 
poorer classes were such as to enable them to appreciate 
really wise guidance and good governance ; the politicians 
need not fear mob-law, nor the clergy lament their want 
of flocks, nor the capitalists prognosticate the annihilation 
of the prosperity of the country. 

Such is the diversity of opinion upon the why and the 
wherefore of education. And my hearers wiQ be pre- 
pared to expect that the practical recommendations 
which are put forward are not less discordant. There is 
a loud cry for compulsory education. We English, in 
spite of constant experience to the contrary, preserve a 
touching faith in the efficacy of acts of parliament ; and 
I believe we should have compulsory education in the 
course of next session, if there were the least probability 
that half a dozen leading statesmen of different parties 
would agree what that education should be. 

Some hold that education without theology is worse than 
none. Others maintain, quite as strongly, that educa- 
tion with theology is in the same predicament. But this 
is certain, that those who hold the first opinion can by no 
means agree what theology should be taught ; and that 
those who maintain the second are in a small minority. 



At any rate "make people leani to read, write, and 

icr," say a great many ; and the advice is un- 

lubtedly sensible as fur as it goes. But, as lias 

appened to me in former days, those who, in despair of 

getting anything better, advocate this measure, are met 

witii the objection that it is very like making a child 

tifie the use of a knife, fork, and spoon, without 

ing it a particle of meat. I really don't know what 

reply is to be made to such an objection. 

But it would bo unprofitable to spend more time in 

i(lisentangling, or rather in showing up the knots in, the 

welled skeins of our neighbours. Much more to the 

lose is it to ask if we possess any eluc of our own 

lich may guide us among these entanglements. And 

way of a begiiming, let us ask ourselves— What is 

lueation ? Above all things, what is our ideal of a 

iraughly liberal education ? — of that education which, 

we could begin life again, we would give ourselves — 

that education which, if we could mould the fates to 

own will, we would give our children. Well, I know 

what may be your conceptions upon this matt_er, 

it I will tell you mine, and I hope I eliall find that our 

!W8 are not very discrepant. 

it were perfectly certain tliat the life and 

ttune of every one of us would, one day or other, 

pend upon his winning or losing a game at chess. 

*on*t you think that we shoukl all consider it to be a 

primary duty to learn at least the names and the moves 

o f the pieces ; to have a notion of a gambit, and a keen 

^Bve for all the means of giving and getting out of check? 

^Hio you not think that we should look with a disappro- 



bation amounting to scorn, upon the father who allowed 
his son, or the state which allowed its members, to grow 
up without knowing a pawn from a knight ? 

Yet it is a very plain and elementary truth, that the 
life, the fortune, and the happiness of every one of us, 
and, more or less, of those who are connected with us, do 
depend upon our knowing something of the rules of a 
game infinitely more difficult and complicated than chess. 
It is a game which has been played for untold ages, every 
man and woman of us being one of the two players in a 
game of his or her own. The chess-board is the world, 
the pieces are the phenomena of the universe, the rules 
of the game are what we call the laws of Nature. The 
player on the other side is hidden from us. We know 
that his play is always fair, just, and patient. But also 
we know, to our cost, that he never overlooks a mistake, 
or makes the smallest allowance for ignorance. To the 
man who plays well, the highest stakes are paid, with that 
sort of overflowing generosity with which the strong 
shows delight in strength. And one who plays ill is 
checkmated — without haste, but without remorse. 

My metaphor will remind some of you of the famous 
picture in which Retzsch has depicted Satan playing at 
chess with man for his soul. Substitute for the mocking 
fiend in that picture, a calm, strong angel who is playing 
for love, as we say, and would rather lose than win — and 
I should accept it as an image of human life. 

Well, what I mean by Education is learning the rules 
of this mighty game. In other words, education is the 
instruction of the intellect in the laws of Nature, under 
which name I include not merely things and their forces, 
but men and their ways; and the fashioning of the 


atTectiona and of the will Into an earnest and loving 
I desire to move in harmony with those laws. For me, 
education means neither more nor less than this. Any- 
thing which professes to call itself education must be 
I tried by this standard, and if it fails to stand the test, I 
I will not call it education, whatever may be the force of 
' authority, or of numbers, upon the other sida 
I It is impoitant to remember that, in strictness, there 
[ is no such thing as an uneducated man. Take an ex- 
I treme case. Suppose that an adult man, in the full 
vigour of his faculties, could be suddenly placed in the 
world, as Adam is said to have been, and then left to 
I do as he best might. How long would he be left 
I uneducated ? Not five minutes. Natm-e would begin 
I to teach him, through the eye, the ear, the touch, the 
propertios of objects. Pain and pleasure would be at his 
I elbow telling him to do this and avoid that; and by slow 
degrees the man would receive an education, which, if 
narrow, would Ijc thorough, real, and adequate to his 
circumstances, though there would be no extras and very 
I few accomplishments. 

And if to this solitary man entered a second Adam, 

[ or, better still, au Eve, a new and greater world, that of 

[ social and moral phenomena, would be revealed. Joys 

and woes, compared with which all others might seem 

but faint ahadovra, would spring from the new relations. 

Happiness and sorrow would take the place of the 

L coarser monitors, pleasure and pain ; but conduct would 

\ etill be shaped by the observation of the naUu-al conse- 

I quences of actions ; or, in other words, by the laws of 

\ the nature of man. 

To every one of us the world was once as fresh and 


new as to Adam. And tben, long befoK we were sua- 
oepdbk of auY other mode of instmction, Natoie took 
n§ in Laiid, acd ereiy minute of waking life brought its 
ed'ac:ational inflneoce, shaping our actaons into rough 
^yxudanee with Nature's laws, do that we might not be 
ended untimely l»y too grciss disobeditsce. Xor should 
I fi^>eak of this pivxitess of edncaticfli as past, for any one, 
be h^ as old as he mav. For everr man, the woild is as 
ireKh a£ it was at the first dav, and as foil of untold 
uovfrlties for him who has the eves to see them. And 
Nature is rftiU continuing her patient education of us in 
that grwit university, the universe, of \rhieh we are all 
memU^n^ — Xaiure having no Tc«t-Acts. 

Those who take honours in Nature s university, who 
learu the laws which govern men and things and obey 
thein^ are the really great and successful men in this 
world. The great mass of mankind are the " Poll," who 
]/i(;k up jui»t enough to get through without much dis- 
r-r<'>iit. Thoh^r* who won't learn at all are plucked; and 
then you <:an't come up again. Nature s pluck means 

l'hu)» the qu4;»tion of compulsory education is settled 
m ht a« Nature is concerned. Her bill on that question 
wa>i framed and ][>assed long ago. But, like all com- 
u\i\^nj legiKlation, that of Nature is harsh and wasteful 
in it» oi>enitiorL Ignorance is visited as sharply as 
wilful dijioljedience — incapacity meets with the same 
puni^ihment as crime. Nature's discipline is not even a 
word and a blow, and the blow first; but the blow 
without the word. It is left to you to find out why 
your cars arc boxed. 

The object of what we commonly call education — that 



ducation in wliich man uitervenea and which I shall 

ifitingxiish as artificial education — is to make good these 

jfeeta in Nature's methods; to prepare the child to 

sceive Nature's education, neither incapably nor igno- 

ntly, nor with wilful disobetUence ; and to understand 

the preliminaiy symptoms of her displeasure, without 

waiting for the box on the ear. In short, all artificial 

education ought to be an anticipation of natural educa- 

HSon. And a liberal education is an artificial education, 

^phich has not only prepared a man to escape the 

Breat evils of disobedience to natural laws, but has 

Kained him to appreciate and to seize upon the rewards, 

■rbich Natiirc scatters with as free a hand as her 


H That man, I think, has had a liberal education, who 
Bas been so ti'uined in youth that bis body is the ready 
Htarant of his will, and does with ease and pleasure all 
H^ work that, as a mechanism, it is capable of ; whose 
Bitellect is a clear, cold, logic engine, with all its parts 
Hf equal strength, and in smooth working order ; ready, 
^Ke a steam engine, to be turned to any kind of work, 
WgiA. spin the gossamera as well as forge the anchors of 
^pe mind ; whose mind is stored with a knowledge of 
■te great and fundamental truths of Nature and of the 
Mws of her operations ; one who, no stunted ascetic, is 
h11 of life and fire, but whose passions are trained to 
Hkmc to heel by a vigorous will, the servant of a tender 
Bmacience ; who has learned to love all beauty, whether 
H| Nature or of art, to hate all vilencss, and to respect 
Hotel's as himself. 

B Such au one and no other, I conceive, has had a liberal 
^hucation; for he is, as completely as a mau can be, in 


harmony with Nature. He will make the best of her, 
and she of him. They will get on together rarely ; she 
as his ever beneficent mother ; he as her mouth-piece, 
her conscious self, her minister and interpreter. 

Where is such an education as this to be had? 
Where is there any approximation to it ? Has any one 
tried to found such an education? Looking over the 
length and breadth of these islands, I am afraid that all 
these questions must receive a negative answer. Con- 
sider our primary schools, and what is taught in them. 
A child learns : — 

1. To read, write, and cipher, more or less well; but 
in a very large proportion of cases not so well as to take 
pleasure in reading, or to be able to write the commonest 
letter properly. 

2. A quantity of dogmatic theology, of which the 
child, nine times out of ten, understands next to nothing. 

3. Mixed up with this, so as to seem to stand or fall 
with it, a few of the broadest and simplest principles of 
morality. This, to my mind, is much as if a man of 
science should make the story of the fall of the apple in 
Newton's garden, an integral part of the doctrine of 
gravitation, and teach it as of equal authority with the 
law of the inverse squares. 

4. A good deal of Jewish history and Syrian geo- 
graphy, and, perhaps, a little something about English 
history and the geography of the child's own country. 
But I doubt if there is a primary school in England in 
which hangs a map of the hundred in which the village 
lies, so that the children may be practically taught by it 
what a map means. 




5. A certain amount of regularity, attentive obedience, 
'lespect for others : obtained by fear, if the master be in- 
impetent or foolish ; by love and reverence, if he be wise. 
So far as this school course embraces a training in 
tiie theory and practice of obedience to the moral laws 
lOf Nature, I gladly admit, not only that it contains a 
.valuable educational element, but that, so far, it deals 
with the most valuable and important part of all educa- 
ildon. Yet, contrast what is done in this direction with 
vhat might be done ; with the time given to matters of 
comparatively no importance ; with the absence of any 
attention to things of the highest moment ; and one is 
tempted to think of Falstaff 's bill and " the halfpenny 
worth of bread to all that quantity of sack." 

Let us consider what a child thus " educated " knows, 
and what it does not know. Begin with the moat im- 
portant topic of all — morality, as the guide of conduct. 
The child knows well enough that some acts meet with 
approbation and some with disapprobation. But it has 
never heard that there lies in the nature of things a 
zeason for every moral law, as cogent and as well defined 
aa that which underlies every physical law ; that stealing 
and lying are just as certain to be followed by evil 
consequences, as putting your hand in the fire, or jumping 
out of a garret window. Again, though the scholar 
may Lave been made acquainted, in dogmatic fashion, 
with the broad laws of morality, he has had no training 
in the application of those laws to the difficult problems 
which result from the complex conditions of modern 
civilization. Would it uot be very hard to expect anyone 
to solve a problem in conic sections who had merely been 
taught the axioms and definitions of mathematical science? 


A workman has to bear hard labour, and perhaps 
privation, while he sees others rolling in wealth, and 
feeding their dogs with what would keep Jiis children 
from starvation. Would it not be well to have helped 
that man to calm the natural promptings of discontent 
by showing him, in his youth, the necessary connexion 
of the moral law which prohibits stealing with the 
stability of society — by proving to him, once for all, that 
it is better for his own people, better for himself, better 
for future generations, that he should starve than steal ? 
If you have no foundation of knowledge, or habit of 
thought, to work upon, what chance have you of persua- 
ding a hungry man that a capitalist is not a thief " with 
a circumbendibus ? " And if he honestly believes that, (rf 
what avail is it to quote the commandment against steal- 
ing, when he proposes to make the capitalist disgorge ? 

Again, the child learns absolutely nothing of the 
history or the political organization of his own country. 
His general impression is, that everything of much im- 
portance happened a very long while ago ; and that the 
<iueen and the gentlefolks govern the country much 
after the fashion of King David and the elders and 
nobles of Israel — his sole models. Will you give a man 
with this much information a vote ? In easy times he 
sells it for a pot of beer. Why should he not ? It is of 
about as much use to him as a chignon, and he knows as 
much what to do with it, for any other purpose. In bad 
times, on the contrary, he applies his simple theory of 
government, and believes that his rulers are the cause of 
his sufferings — a belief which sometimes bears remark- 
able practical fruits. 

Least of all, does the child gather from this primary 


"education" of oui^h a conception of the laws of the 
physical worltl, or of the relations of cause and efl'ect 
therein. And this is the more to be lamented, as the 
poor are especially exposed to physical evils, and are 
more interested in removing them than any other class 
of the community. If any one is concerned in knowing 
the ordinary laws of mechanics one would think it is the 
hand-labourer, whose daily toil lies among levers and 
pulleys ; or among the other implements of artisan work. 
And if any one is interested in the laws of health, it is 
the poor workman, whose strength is wasted by ill-pre- 
])ared food, whose health is sapped by bad ventilation and 
bad drainage, and half whose children are massacred by 
diaortlers wliich might be prevented. Not only does our 
present primary education carefully abstain irom hinting 
to the workman that some of his gi-eatest evils are trace- 
able to mere physical agencies, which could he removed 
ky energy, patience, and frugality ; but it does worse — 

renders him, so far as it can, deaf to those who could 
sip him, and tries to substitute an Oriental submission 
to what is falsely declared to be the will of God, for his 
natural tendency to strive after a better condition. 

What wonder then, if very recently, an appeal has 
Iwcn made to statistics for the profoundly foolish pur- 
pose of showing that education is of no good— that it 
diminishes neither miseiy, nor crime, among the masses of 
niiinkind ? I rejily, why should the thing which has 
Keen called education do either the one or the other ? If 
I am a knave or a fool, teaching me to rcntl and write 
won't make me less of either one or the other — imless 
somebody shows me how to put my reading and writing 



Suppose any one were to argue that medicine is of no 
use, because it could be proved statistically, that the 
percentage of deaths was just the same, among people 
who bad been taught how to open a medicine chest, and 
among those who did not so much as know the key by 
sight The argument is absurd; but it is not more 
preposterous than that against which I am contending. 
The only medicine for suffering, crime, and all the other 
woes of mankind, is wisdom. Teach a man to read and 
write, and you have put into his hands the great keys of 
the wisdom box. But it is quite another matter whether 
he ever opens the box or not. And he is as likely to 
poison as to cure himself, if, without guidance, he 
swallows the first drug that comes to hand. In these 
times a man may as well be purblind, as imable to read 
— lame, as imable to write. But I protest that, if I 
thought the alternative were a necessary one, I would 
rather that the children of the poor should grow up 
ignorant of both these mighty arts, than that they should 
remain ignorant of that knowledge to which these arts 
are means. 

It may be said that all these animadversions may 
apply to primary schools, but that the higher schools, at 
any rate, must be allowed to give a liberal education. 
In fact, they professedly sacrifice everything else to this 

Let us inquire into this matter. What do the higher 
schools, those to which the great middle class of the 
country sends it children, teach, over and above the in- 
struction given in the primary schools ? There is a little 
more reading and writing of English. But, for all that, 


'ery one knows that it 13 a rare thing to find a boy of 
the middle or upper classes who can read aloud decently, 
or who can put his thoughts on paper in clear and gram- 
matical (to say nothing of good or elegant) language. 
The " ciphering" of the lower schools expands into 
elementary mathematics in the higher ; into arithmetic, 

,tli a little algebra, a little Euclid. But I doubt if 
boy in five hundred has ever heard the explanation 


than by rote. 

Of theology, the middle class sehoolhoy gets rather 
less than poorer children, less absolutely and less rela- 
tively, because there are so many other claims upon his 
attention. I venture to say that, in the great majority 
of cases, his ideas on this subject when he leaves school 
are of the most shadowy and vague description, and 
associated with painful impressions of the weary hours 
spent in learning collects and catechism by heart. 

Modem geography, modem history, modem literature ; 

le English language as a language ; the whole circle 
of the sciences, physical, moral, and social, are even 
more completely ignored in the higher than in the lower 
schools. Up tUl within a few years back, a boy might 
have passed thi'ough any one of the great public schools 
with the greatest distinction and credit, and might never 
so much as have heard of one of the subjects I have 
just mentioned. He might never have heard that the 
earth goes round the sun ; that England underwent a 
great revolution iu 1688, and France another in 1789 ; 
that there once lived certain notable men called Chaucer, 
Shakspcare, Milton, Voltaire, Goethe, Schiller. The first 
might be a German and the last an Englishman for any- 


thing lie could tell you to the contrary. And as for 
science, the only idea the word would suggest to his 
mind would be dexterity in boxing. 

I have said that this was the state of things a few 
years back, for the sake of the few righteous who are 
to be found among the educational cities of the plain. 
But T would not have you too sanguine about the result, 
if you sound the minds of the existing generation of 
public school-boys, on such topics as those I have 

Now let us pause to consider this wonderful state of 
affairs; for the time will come when Englishmen will 
quote it as the stock example of the stolid stupidity of 
their ancestors in the nineteenth century. The most 
thoroughly commercial people, the greatest voluntary 
wanderers and colonists the world has ever seen, are 
precisely the middle classes of this country. If there be 
a people which has been busy making history on the 
great scale for the last three hundred years — and the 
most profoundly interesting history — history which, if 
it happened to be that of Greece or Kome, we should 
study with avidity — it is the English. If there be a 
people whicli, during the same period, has developed a 
remarkable literature, it is our own. If there be a 
nation whose prosperity depends absolutely and wholly 
upon their mastery over the forces of Nature, upoA their 
intelligent apprehension of, and obedience to, the laws 
of the creation and distribution of wealth, and of the 
stable equilibrium of the forces of society, it is pre- 
cisely this nation. And yet this is what these wonderful 
people tell their sons : — " At the cost of from one to two 
thousand pounds of our hard earned money, we devote 


twelve of the most precious years of your lives to 8cliool. 
There you shall toil, or be supposed to toil ; hut there 
you shall not learn one single thing of all those you will 
most want to know, directly you leave school and enter 
upon the practical business of life. You will in all 
probability go into business, but you shall not know 
w'liere, or how, any article of commei'ec is produced, or 
the difference between an export or an import, or the 
meaning of the word 'capital.' You will verj' likely settle 
in a colony, but you shall not know whether Tasmania 
is part of New South Wales, or vice versit 

Very probably you may become a manufacturer, but 
shall not be provided with the means of under- 
standing the working of one of your own steam-engines, 
or the nature of the raw products you employ ; and, 
when you arc asked to buy a patent, you shall not have 
the slightest means of judging whether tlie inventor is 
an impostor who is contravening the elementary prin- 
ciples of science, or n man wlio will make you aa rich 
as C'rcEsus. 

" Yuu will very likely get into the House of Commons. 
ou will have to take your share in making laws which 

ly prove a bicssiug or a curse to millions of men. 
But you shall not hear one word respecting the political 
organization of your country ; the meaning of the con- 
troversy between freetraders and protectionists shall 
never have been mentioned to you ; you .shall not so 
much aa know that there are such things aa economical 

" The mental power which will be of most importance 
iu your daily life will be the power of seeing things as 
they are without regard to authority; and of drawing 



accurate general conclusions from particular facts. But 
at school and at college you shall know of no source of 
truth but authority ; nor exercise your reasoning faculty 
upon anything but deduction from that which is laid 
down by authority. 

" You will have to weary your soul with work, and 
many a time eat your bread in sorrow and in bitterness, 
and you shall not have learned to take refuge in the 
great source of pleasure without alloy, the serene resting- 
place for worn human nature, — the world of art.** 

Said I not rightly that we are a wonderful people ? 
I am quite prepared to allow, that education entirely 
devoted to these omitted subjects might not be a com- 
pletely liberal education. But is an education which 
ignores them all, a liberal education? Nay, is it too 
much to say that the education which should embrace 
these subjects and no others, would be a real education, 
though an incomplete one ; while an education which 
omits them is really not an education at all, but a more 
or less useful course of intellectual gymnastics ? 

For what does the middle-class school put in the place 
of all these things which are left out ? It substitutes 
what is usually comprised under the compendious title 
of the *' classics " — that is to say, the languages, the 
literature, and the history of the ancient Greeks and 
Romans, and the geography of so much of the world 
as was known to these two great nations of antiquity. 
Now, do not expect me to depreciate the earnest and 
enlightened pursuit of classical learning. I have not 
the least desire to speak ill of such occupations, nor 
any sympathy with those who run them down. Od 


the contrary, if my opportunities had lain in tliat di- 
rection, there is no iuve3tigation into which I could 
have thrown myself witli greater delight than that of 

What si^ience can present gi-eater attractions than 
philology ? How can a lover of literary excellence fail 
to rejoice in the ancient masterpieces ? And with what 
■ consistency could I, whose husiness lies so nanch in the 
attempt to decipher the past, and to huild up intelligible 
forms out of the scattered fragments of long-estinet 
beings, faU to take a sympathetic, though an unlearned, 
interest in the labours of a Niebuhr, a Gibbon, or a 
Grote ? Classical historj' is a great section of the pa- 
Iseontology of man ; and I have the same double respect 
for it as for other kinds of palseontology — that is to say, 
a respect for the facts which it establishes as for all 
facts, and a atill greater respect for it as a preparation 
for the discoveiy of a law of progress. 

But if the classics were taught as they might be 
taught — if boys and gills were instructed in Greek and 
Latin, not merely as languages, but as illustrations of 
philological science ; if a vivid picture of life on the 
shores of the Mediterranean, two thousand years ago, 
were imprinted on the minds of scholars ; if ancient 
history were taught, not as a weary scries of feuds and 
fights, but traced to its causes in such men placed under 
such conditions ; if, lastly; the study of the classical 
^B books were followed in such a manner as to impress boys 
^H -with their beauties, and with the grand simplicity of 
^H 'their statement of the everlasting problems of human 
^Hrlife, instead of with their verbal and grammatical peeu- 
^Bliaritiea ; I still think it as little proper that they should 



forrn the basis of a liberal education for our conten 
raries, as I should think it fitting to make that son 
palaeontology with which 1 am familiar, the back-l 
of modern education. 

It is wonderful how close a parallel to class 
training could be made out of that palaeontology to wl 
I refer. In the first place I could get up an osteolog 
primer so arid, so pedantic in its terminology, so a 
gether distasteful to the youthful mind, as to beat 
recent famous production of the head-masters out 
the field in all these excellences. Next, I could exer 
my boys upon easy fossils, and bring out all tl 
powers of memory and all their ingenuity in the appl 
tion of my osteo-grammatical rules to the interpretat 
or construing, of those fragments. To those who 
reached the higher classes, I might supply odd be 
to be built up into animals, giving great honour 
reward to him who succeeded in fabricating mons 
most entirely in accordance with the rules. 1 
would answer to verse-making and essay-writing 

:I7> the dead languages. 

!:f, To be sure, if a great comparative anatomist v 

to look at these fabrications he might shake his hi 

'u\ or laugh. But what then? Would such a catastro 

^ destroy the parallel? What think you would Cic 

or Horace, say to the production of the best si 
form going? And would not Terence stop his < 
and run out if he could be present at an English ] 
formance of his own plays? Would Hamlet, in 
mouths of a set of French actors, who should ii 
on pronouncing English after the fashion of their i 
tongue, be more hideously ridiculous ? 



liut it will lie aaid that I am forgetting the beauty, and 

3ie human interest, which appertain to elassical studies. 

STo this I reply that it is only a vciy strong man who 

can appreciate the charms of a landscape, as he is 

toiling up a steep hill, along a bad road. What with 

_ short-windedness, stones, ruts, and a pervading sense 

the wisdom of rest and be thankful, most of us 

iBve little enough sense of the beautiful under these 

rcumatances. The ordinary school-boy is precisely in 

bifi case. He finds Paruassua uncommonly steep, and 

lere is no chance of his having much time or inclination 

look about him till he gets to the top. And nine 

mea out of ten he does not get to the top. 

But if this be a fair picture of the results of classical 

tcbing at its best — and I gather from those who 

lave authority to speak on such matters that it is so — 

Iphat is to be said of classical teaching at its worst, 

r in other words, of the classics of our ordinary middlc- 

1 schools?' I will tell you. It means getting up 

ndlees forms and rules by heart. It means turning 

atin and Greek into English, for the mere sake of 

able to do it, and without the smallest regard 

I the worth, or worthlessness, of the author read. It 

teana the learning of innumerable, not always decent, 

feibles in such a shape that the meaning they once had 

is dried up into utter twtah ; and the only impression 

left upon a boy's mind is, that the people who believed 

Much things must have been the greatest idiots the 

forld ever saw. And it means, finally, that after a 

lozen years spent at this kind of work, the sufferer 

> For ft justifioition of what is here said abovit these schools, see Ihftt 
blttable book, " Essays on a Lihirid Edilcmtion," patam^ 


shall be incompetent to interpret a passage in an author 
he has not already got up ; that he shall loathe the 
sight of a Greek or Latin book; and that he shall 
never open, or think of, a classical writer again, until, 
wonderful to relate, he insists upon submitting his 
sons to the same process. 

These be your gods, Israel ! For the sake of this 
net result (and respectability) the British father denies 
his children all the knowledge they might turn to 
account in life, not merely for the achievement of 
vulgar success, but for guidance in the great crises of 
human existence. This is the stone he oflfers to those 
whom he is bound by the strongest and tenderest ties 
to feed with bread. 

If primary and secondary education are in this un- 
satisfactory state, what is to be said to the universities ? 
This is an awful subject, and one I almost fear to 
touch with my unhallowed hands ; but I can tell you 
what those say who have authority to speak. 

The Rector of Lincoln College, in his lately published, 
valuable " Suggestions for Academical Organization with 
especial reference to Oxford," tells us (p. 127) : — 

"The colleges were, in their origin, endowments, 
not for the elements of a general liberal education, 
but for the prolonged study of special and professional 
faculties by men of riper age. The universities em- 
braced both these objects. The colleges, while they 
incidentally aided in elementary education, were specially 
devoted to the highest learning. .... 

" This was the theory of the middle-age university and 
the design of collegiate foundations in their origin. Time 


and circumstances have brought about a total chauge. 
The colleges no longer promote the researches of science, 
or dirc-ct professional study. Here and there college 
walls may shelter an occasional student, but not in 
larger proportions than may be found in private life. 
Elomentaiy teaching of youths under twenty is now 
thL> only function performed by the university, and 
almost the only object of college endowments. Colleges 
were homes for the life-study of the highest and most 
abstruse parts of knowledge. They have become boarding 
schools in which the elements of the learned languages 
arc taught to youths." 

If Mr. Pattison's high position, and his obvious love 
and respect for his university, be insufficient to convince 
the outside world that language so severe is yet no 
more than just, the authority of the Commissioners 
who reported on the University of Oxford in 1850 is 
open to no challenge. Yet they write : — 

"It is generally acknowledged that both Oxford and 
the country at large sutfer greatly from the absence of a 
))ody of learned men devoting their lives to the cultivation 
of science, and to the direction of academical education. 

" The fact that so few books of profound research 
emanate from the University of Oxford, materially 
impairs its character as a seat of learning, and con- 
sequently its hold on the respect of the nation." 

Cambridge can claim no exemption from the reproaches 
addresBcd to Oxford. And thus there seems no escapg 
from the admission that what we fondly call our great 
scuta of learning are simply "boarding schools" for 
bigger boys ; that learned men are not more numerous 
than out of them ; that the advancement of 

knowledge is not the object of fellows of 
that, in the philosophic calm and meditative stillne&s 
of their greenawarded courts, philosophy does not thrive, 
and meditation bears few fruits. 

It ia my great good fortune to reckon amongst my 
friends resident members of both universities, who are 
men of learning and research, zealous cultivators of 
science, keeping before their minda a noble ideal of a 
university, and doing their best to make that ideal a 
reality ; and, to me, they would necessarily typify the 
univeraities, did not the authoritative statements I have 
quoted compel me to believe that they are exceptional, 
and not representative men. Indeed, upon ealm con- 
eideration, several circumstancea lead me to think that 
the Rector of Lincoln College and the Commissioners 
cannot be far wrong. 

I believe there can be no doubt that the foreigner 
who should wish to become acquainted with the scientific, 
or the literary, activity of modem England, woidd simply 
lose his time and his pains if he visited our universities 
with that object. 

And, as for works of profound research on any subject, 
and, above all, in that claBsical lore for which the 
univeraities profeaa to aacrifiee almoat everything else, 
why, a tliird-rate, poverty-stricken German university 
tuma out moi-e produce of that kind in one year, than 
our vast jiud weidthy foundations elaborate in ten. 

Ask the man who is investigating any question, pro- 
foundly and thoroughly — be it historical, philosophical, 
philological, physical, literary, or theological ; who is 
trying to make himself master of any abstract subject 
(except, perhaps, political economy and geology, both 


of which are intensely Anglican sciences) whether he 
ia not compelled to read half a dozen times as many 
German, as English, books? And whether, of these 
English books, more than one in ten is the work of 
a fellow of a college, or a professor of an English 
university 1 

Is this from any lack of power in the English as 
compared with the Gennan mind 1 The eonntrymeii 
of Grote and of Mill, of Faraday, of Robert Browu, 
of Lyell, and of Darwin, to go no further back than 
the contemporaries of men of middle age, can afford 
to smile at such a suggestion. England can show now, 
as she has been able to show in every generation since 
civilization spread over the West, individual men who 
hold their own against the world, and keep alive the 
old tradition of her intellectual eminence. 

But, in the majority of eases, these men are what 
they are in virtue of their native intellectual force, and 
of a strength of character which will not recognise impedi- 
ments. They arc not ti-ained in the courts oi' the 
Temple of Science, but storm the walls of that edi&ee in 
all sorts of irregular ways, and with much loss of time 
and power, in order to obtain their legitimate positions. 

Our universities not only do not encourage such men ; 
do not offer tliem positions, in which it should be their 
highest duty to do, thoroughly, that which they are most 
capable of doing ; but, as far as possible, university train- 
ing shuts out of the minds of those among them, who 
are subjected to it, the prospect that there is anything in 
the world for which they are specially fitted. Imagine 
the success of the attempt to still the intellectual hunger 
of any of the men 1 have mentioned, liy putting before 


him, as the object of existence, the successful mimici 
of the measure of a Greek song, or the roll of Ciceronianii 
prose I Imagine how much succeas would be likel] 
to attend the attempt to pei-suade such men, that thi 
education which leads to perfection in such clegaucieA 
is alone to be called culture ; while the facts of histor]^ 
the process of thought, the conditions of moral and! 
social existence, and the laws of physical nature, are 
left to be dealt with as they may, by outside barbariansi 

It is not thus that the German universities, front 
being beneath notice a century ago, have become wl 
they are now — the most intensely cultivated and tht 
moat productive intellectual corporations the world hai 
ever seen. 

The student who repairs to them sees in the list oj 
classes and of professors a fan- picture of the world 
of knowledge. Whatever he needs to know there if 
some one ready to teaeli him, some one competent t(f 
discipline him in the way of learning ; whatever 
special bent, lut him but be able and diligent, and 
due time he shall find distinction and a career. Amon| 
his professors, he sees men whose names are knowi 
and revered throughout the civilized world ; and theii 
living example infecta him with a noble ambition, and a 
love for the spu-it of work. 

The Germans dominate .the intellectual world 
virtue of the same simple secret as that which madi 
Napoleon the master of old Europe. They have declared 
la carri^re ouverte attx talents, and every Bursd 
marches with a professor's gown in his knapsack. Let 
him become a great scholar, or man of science, an* 
ministers will compete for his sen-ices. In Germany 


they do not leave the chance of hU hokliug the oflice 
he would render illustrious to the tender mercies of a 
hot canvass, and the final wisdom of a mob of countiy 

In short, Lu Germany, the univ'ei-sitics are exaetly what 
the Kector of Lincoln and the Commissioners tell us the 
English univei-sities are not ; that is to say, corporations 
" of learned men devoting theii- lives to the cultivation 
nf science, and the direction of academical education." 
They are not " boarding schools for youths," nor clerical 
seminaries; but institutions for the higher culture of 
men, in which the theological faculty is of no more 
importance, or prominence, than the rest ; and which 
are truly "universities," since they strive to represent 
and embody the totality of human knowledge, and 

find room for all forms of intellectual activity. 

May zealoua and clear-headed reformers Uke Mr. 
Pattison succeed in their noble endeavours to shape 
our universities towards some such ideal aa this, without 
losing what is valuable and distinctive in their social 
! But untU they have succeeded, a liberal education 
be no more obtainable in our Oxford and Cambridge 
Universities than in our public schools. 

If I am justified in my conception of the ideal of a 
liberal education ; and if what I have said about the 
existing educational institutions of the country is also 
true, it is clear that the two have no sort of relation 
to one another; that the best of our schools and the 
most complete of our university trainings give but 
a narrow, one-sided, and essentially illiberal education — 
while the worst give what is really next to no education 


at all. The South London Working-Men's College 
could not copy any of these institutions if it would. 
I am bold enough to express the conviction that it 
ought not if it could. 

For what is wanted is the reality and not the mere 
name of a liberal education; and this College must 
steadily set before itself the ambition to be able to 
give that education sooner or later. At present we 
are but beginning, sharpening our educational tools, 
as it were, and, except a modicum of physical science, 
we are not able to offer much more than is to be found 
in an ordinary school. 

Moral and social science — one of the greatest and 
most fruitful of our future classes, I hope — at present 
lacks only one thing in our programme, and that is a 
teacher. A considerable want, no doubt ; but it must 
be recollected that it is much better to want a teacher 
than to want the desire to learn. 

Further, we need what, for want of a better name, 
I must call Physical Geography. What I mean is that 
which the Germans call '* Erdkunde/' It is a descrip- 
tion of the earth, of its place and relation to other 
bodies ; of its general structure, and of its great features 
— winds, tides, mountains, plains; of the chief forms 
of the vegetable and animal worlds, of the varieties 
of man. It is the peg upon which the greatest quantity 
of useful and entertaining scientific information can be 

Literature is not upon the College programme ; but 

hope some day to see it there. For literature is 
the greatest of all sources of refined pleasure, and one 
of the great uses of a liberal education is to enable 


US to cDJoy that pleasure. There is scope enough for 
the purposes of liberal education in the study of the 
rich treasures of our own language alone. All that 
ia needed is direction, and the cultivation of a refined 
taste by attention to sound criticism. But there ia 
n o reason why French and German should not be 
mastered sufficiently to read what ia worth reading 
in those languages, with pleasure and with profit. 

And finally, by-and-by, we must have History ; 
treated not as a succession of battles and dynasties ; 
not as a series of biographies ; not as evidence that 
Providence has always been on the side of cither \Vhigs 
or Tories ; but as the development of man in times 
past, and in other conditions than our own. 

But, as it ia one of the principles of our College to 
be self-BUpporting. the public must lead, and we must 
follow, in these matters. If my hearers take to heart 
what I have said about liberal education, they will 
desire these things, and 1 doubt not we shall be able 
to supply tfaem. But we must wait till the demand 




'{Mr. Thackeray, talking of after-diimer speeches, has lamented that 
" one never can recollect the fine things one thought of in the 
cab/' in going to the place of entertainment. I am not aware that 
there are any " fine things " in the following pages, but such as 
there are stand to a speech which really did get itself spoken, at 
the hospitable table of the Liverpool Philomathic Society, more or 
less in the position of what " one thought of in the cab."] 

The introduction of scientific training into the general 
education of the country is a topic upon which I 
could not have spoken, without some more or less 
^apologetic introduction, a few years ago. But upon 
this, as upon other matters, public opinion has of late 
undergone a rapid modification. Committees of both 
Houses of the Legislature have agreed that something 
must be done in this direction, and have even thrown 
out timid and faltering suggestions as to what should 
be done ; while at the opposite pole of society, com- 
mittees of working-men have expressed their conviction 
fiat scientific training ia t\ic on^ \\\\iv^ needful for 


their advancement, whether as men, or as workmen. 
Only the other day, it was my duty to take part in 
the reception of a deputation of London working men, 
wlio desired to learn from Sir Roderick Murchison, the 
Director of the Royal School of Jlines, whether the 
organization of the Institution in Jermyn Street could 
he made available for the supply of that scientific 
instruction, the need of which eould not have been 
apprehended, or stated, more clearly than it was by 

The heads of colleges in our great Universities (who 

have not the reputation of being the moat mobile of 

persons) have, in several eases, thought it well that, 

out of the great number of honours and rewards at 

their disposal, a few should hereafter be given to the 

fultivators of the physical sciences. Nay, I hear that 

-•nme colleges have even gone so far a.s to appoint one, 

nr, may be, two special tutors for the purpose of putting 

the facts and principles of physical science before the 

undergraduate mind. And I say it with gratitude 

rVid great respect for those eminent pei-sons, tliat the 

!ad masters of our public schools, Eton, Harrow, 

Ipincliestcr, have addressed themselves to the problem 

introducing instruction in physical science among 

iie studies of those great educational l)odies, with 

bllch honesty of purpose and enlightenment of under- 

»nding ; and I live in hope that, before long, inipor- 

nt changes in this direction will be carried into effect 

those strongholds of ancient prescription. In fact, 

I irach changes have already been made, and physical 

science, even now, constitutes a recognised element of 

the school curriculum in Harrow and Rugby, whilst 


I undostaiid that ample pfepttntions for such stadies 
are being made at Eton and ebewIioeL 

Lookmg at tliese furts^ I might pediqn apare myself 
the troable of giTii^ any leaaoiis for the introduction 
<^ physical science into ekmioitaiy education; yet I 
cannot bat think that it may be well, if I place bef(»re 
you some consideiaticna which, perhaps^ have hardly 
leceiTed full attention. 

At other times, and in other places^ I have endeavoured 
to state the hi^er and nH»e abstract arguments^ by 
which the study of physical science may be shown 
to be indispensable to the complete training of the 
human mind; but I do not wish it to be supposed 
that, because I happen to be devoted to more or less 
abstract and *' unpractical ** pursuits, I am insensible 
to the weight which ought to be attached to that which 
has been said to be the English conception of Paradise 
— " namely, getting on." I look upon it, that " getting 
on" is a very important matter indeed. I do not 
mean merely for the sake of the coarse and, tangible 
results of success, but because humanity is so con- 
stituted that a vast number of us would never be 
impelled to those stretches of exertion which make 
us wiser and more capable men, if it were not for the 
absolute necessity of putting on our faculties all the 
strain they will bear, for the purpose of " getting on" 
in. the most practical sense. 

Now the value of a knowledge of phjrsical science 
as a means of getting on, is indubitable. There are 
hardly any of our trades, except the merely huckstering 
oncsy in which some knowledge of science may not 
be directly profitable to the pursuer of that occupation. 


As industry attains higher stages of ita devclopinent, 
as its processes become more complicated and rcfineil, 
and competition more keen, the sciences are dragged 
in, one by one, to take their share in tlie fray ; and 
he who can best avail himself of their help is the man 
who will come out uppermost in that struggle for exist- 
ence, which goes on as fiercely beneath the smooth 
surface of modem society, as among the wild inhabit- 
ants of the woods. 

But, in addition to the bearing of science on ordinary 
practical life, let me direct your attention to its immense 
influence on several of the professions. I ask any one 
who has adopted the calling of an engineer, how much 
time he lost when he left school, because he had to 
devote himself to pursuits which were absolutely novel 
and strange, and of which he bad not obtained the 
remotest conception from his instructors 1 He had 
to femiliarize himself with ideas of the course and 
powers of Nature, to which his attentiou had never 
been directed dui-iug his school-life, and to leom, for 
the first time, that a world of facts lies outside and 
beyond the world of words. I appeal to those who 
know what Engineering is, to say how far I am right 
in respect to that profession ; but with regard to 
ftnotber, of no less importance, I shall venture to 
speak of my own knowledge. There is no one of 
118 who may not at any moment be thrown, Injund 
id and foot by physical incapacity, into the hands 
of a medical practitioner. The chances of life and 
:death for all and each of us may, at any moment, 
depend on the skill with which that practitioner is 
.able to make out what is wrong in our bodily frai 

and on his ability to apply the proper remedy to tlie 
defect I 

The necessities of modern life are such, and titm 
clasa from which the medical profession is chieftn 
recruited is so situated, that few medical men can hopfl 
to spend more than three or four, or it may bo five, 
years in the pursuit of those studies which arc imme- 
diately germane to physic. How is that all too brief 
period spent at present ? I speak as an old examinoM 
having served aome eleven or twelve years in thw 
capacity in the University of London, and therefore 
having a practical acquaintance with the subject : 
but I might fortify myself by the authority of thu 
President of the College of Surgeons, Mr. Quain, whom 
I heard the other day in an admirable address (th( 
Huntcrian Oration) deal fully and wisely with this vi 

' Mr. Quail 

'» worda (Urdieal Tinuit anA GaadU, Febniary 20) aw : — " A 
few worda as to our special Meclicol course of instniction and the inflnence 
upon it of soch chansres in the elementary schools as I have mentioned. The 
student now enters at once upon aereral sciences — phjsics, chemistry, nnatoroy, 
physiology, botany, phamwcy, therapeutics^ all these, the 6icts and the 
language and the Uws of ench, to be niaatered in eighteen months. Up Ui 
the beginning of the Medical course many have learned little. We cannot 
claim anything better than the Examiner of the University of London and 
the Cambridge Lecturer have reports! for their Universities. Supposingthut 
at school young people had acqnired some exact elementary knowledge in 
physics, chemistry, and a branch of rintnral history — say botany — with tbM 
physiology connected with it, they would then have gained necessaiy knowj 
ledge, with some practice in inductive reasoning. The whole studies HA 
processes of observation and induction — the best discipline of the mind ftfl 
the purposes of life— for our purposes not less than any, ' By such stodn 
(says Br. Wheweli) of one or more departments of inductive science IM^ 
mind may escape from the thraldom of mere words.' By that plan the 
btirden of the early Medical course would be much lightened, and more time 
devoted to pmcticttl studies, including Sir Thonins Watson's ' final and supreme 
»tsge ' at the knowledge of Medicine." 



A youjig man commenciDg the study of medicine is 

tat once required to endeavour to make an acquolDtance 

■ with a number of sciences, such as Physics, as Chemistry, 

as Botany, aa Physiology, which are absolutely and entirely 

strange to him, however excellent his so-called education 

at school may have been. Not only is he devoid of all 

apprehension of scientific conceptions, not only does he 

fail to attach any meaning to the words "matter," 

" force," or " law " in their seientific senses, but, worse 

11, he has no notion of what it is to come into contact 

rith nature, or to lay his mind alongside of a physical 

ict, and try to conquer it. in the way our great naval 

liero told his captains to master their enemies. His 

jlpliole mind has been given to books, and I am hardly 

saggerating if I say that they are more real to him 

iban Nature. He imagines that. all knowledge can be 

■'got out of book,8, and rests upon the authority of some 

LSter or other ; nor does he euteitain any misgiving 

lat the method of learning which led to proficiency 

, the rules of grammar, will suffice to lead him to a 

isteiy of the laws of Nature, Tlie youngster, thus 

nprepared for serious study, is turned loose among 

. medical studies, with the result, in nine cases out 

t«n, that tlie first year of his curriculum is spent 

learning how to learn. Indeed, he is lucky, if at 

; cud of the first year, by the exertions of hia teachers 

nd hia own industry, he has acquired even that art of 

After which there remain not more than three, 

' i)erhap8 four, yeara for the profitable study of such 

let sciences as Anatomy, Physiology, Therapeutics, 

Hcdicioe, Surgery, Obstetrics, and the like, upon his 

Bowledge or ignorance of which it depends whethci' 



the practitioner shall diminish, or increase, the bills of 
mortality. Now what is it but the preposterous con- 
dition of ordinary school education which prevents a 
young man of seventeen, destined for the practice of 
medicine, from being fully prepared for the study of 
nature; and from coming to the medical school, equipped 
with that preliminary knowledge of the principles of 
Physics, of Chemistry, and of Biology, upon which he 
has now to waste one of the precious years, every 
moment of which ought to be given to those studies 
which bear directly upon the knowledge of his 
profession ? 

There is another profession, to the members of which, 
I think, a certain preliminary knowledge of physical 
science might be quite as valuable as to the medical 
man. The practitioner of medicine sets before himself 
the noble object of taking care of man's. bodily welfare; 
but the members of this other profession undertake to 
"minister to minds diseased," and, so far as may be, 
to diminish sin and soften sorrow. Like the medical 
profession, the clerical, of which I now speak, rests its 
power to heal upon its knowledge of the order of the 
universe — upon certain theories of man's relation to 
that which lies outside him. It is not my business to 
express any opinion about these theories. I merely 
wish to point out that, like all other theories, they are 
professedly based upon matter of fact. Thus the clerical 
profession has to deal with the facts of Nature from a 
certain point of view ; and hence it comes into contact 
with that of the man of science, who has to treat the 
same facts from another point of view. You know how 
often that contact is to be described as collision^ or 


iolcut friction ; and how great the heat, how little 
lie light, which commonly results from it. 
In the interests of i'air play, to say nothing of those 
: mankind, I ask, \Vliy do not the clergy as a body 
quire, as a part of their preliminary education, some 
* such tincture of physical science as will put them in 
a position to understand the difficidties in the way 
of accepting their theories, which are forced upon the 
Mdnind of every thoughtful and intelligent man, who has 
Btakcn the trouble to instruct himself in the elements 
' * of natural knowledge ? 

Some time ago I attended a large meeting of the 
clergy, for the purpose of delivering an address which 
I had been invited to give. I spoke of some of the 
moat elementary facts in physical science, and of the 
manner in which they directly contradict certain of the 
ordinary teachings of the clergy. The result was, that, 
after I had finished, one section of the assembled eccle- 
siastics attacked me with all the intemperance of pious 
zeal, for stating facts and conclusions which no com- 
petent judge doubts ; while, after the first speakers had 
subsided, amidst the cheers of the great majority of their 
colleagues, the more rational minority rose to tell me 
that I had taken wholly superfluous pains, that they 
already knew all about what I had told them, and 
perfectly agreed with me. A hard-beaded friend of 
mine, who was present, put the not imnatural question, 
" Then why don't you say so in your pulpits ? " to 
which inquiry I heard no reply. 

In fact the clergy are at present divisible into three 
sections : an immense body who are ignorant and speak 
out ; a small proportion who know and are silent ; 
F 2 


and a minute minority who know and speak according 
to their knowledge. By the clergy, I mean especially 
the Protestant clergy. Our great antagonist — I speak 
as a man of science — the Roman Catholic Chutch, the 
one great spiritual organization which is able to resist, 
and must, as a matter of life and death, resist, the 
progress of science and modem civilization, manages 
her affairs much better. 

It was my fortune some time ago to pay a visit to 
one of the most important of the institutions in which 
the clergy of the Eoman Catholic Church in these islands 
are trained; and it seemed to me that the dijflference 
between these men and the comfortable champions of 
Anglicanism and of Dissent, was comparable to the 
difference between our gallant Volimteers and the 
trained veterans of Napoleon's Old Guard. 

The Catholic priest is trained to know his business, 
and do it effectually. The professors of the college in 
question, learned, zealous, and determined men, per- 
mitted me to speak frankly with them. We talked like 
outposts of opposed armies during a truce — as friendly 
enemies; and when I ventured to point out the diffi- 
culties their students would have to encounter from 
scientific thought, they replied : " Our Church has lasted 
many ages, and has passed safely through many storm& 
The present is but a new gust of the old tempest, and 
we do not turn out our young men less fitted to weather 
it, than they have been, in former times, to cope witli 
the difficulties of those times. The heresies of tlie day 
are explained to them by their professors of philosophy 
and science, and they are taught how those heresies arc 
to be met" 


I heaitily respect an organization which faces its 
mies in this way ; and I wish that all ecclesiastical 
.nizations were in as effective a condition. I think 
it would be better, not only for them, but for us. The 
army of liberal thought is, at present, iu very loose 
order ; and many a spirited free-thinker makes use of 
his freedom mainly to vent nonsense. We should be 
the bett<?r for a vigorous aud watchfid enemy to hammer 
us into cohesion and discipline ; and I, for one, lament 
that the bench of Bishops cannot show a man of 
the calibre of Butler of the " Analogy," who, if he 
were alive, would make short work of much of the 
^jun-ent d, priori " infidelity." 

^V I hope you will consider that the arguments I have 
now stated, even if there were no better ones, con- 
stitute a sufficient apology for urging the introduction 
of science into schools. The next question to which 
I have to address myself is, What sciences ought to be 
thus taught? And this is one of the most important of 

Rtestions, because my side (I am afraid I am a terriljjy 
ndid friend) sometimes spoils its cause by going in 
r too much. There are other forms of culture beside 
physical science ; and I should be profoundly sorry to 
Be e the fact forgotten, or even to observe a tendency to 
^Htrve, or cripple, literary, or sesthetic, culture for the sake 
^HF science. Such a naiTow view of the nature of eduea- 
taon has nothing to do with my firm conviction that 
n romplctc and thorough scientific culture ought to be 

Itroduced into all schools. By this, however, I do not 
Ban that every schoolboy should be tauglit everytliing 
jBcience. That would be a very absurd thing to con- 




ceive, anA a very miscliievous tbiug to attempt. What 
I meau ia, that no boy nor girl should leave schoid 
without possessing a grasp of the general character of 
science, and without having been disciplined, more or 
less, in the methods of all sciences ; so that, when 
turned into the world to make their own way, they 
shall be prepared to face scientific problems, not by 
knowing at once the conditions of every problem, or 
by being able at once to solve it ; but b}' being famOiar' 
with the general current of scientific thought, and by 
being able to apply the methods of science in th» 
proper way, when they have acquainted themselves with. 
the conditions of the special problem. 

That is what I understand by scientific educationi 
To furnish a boy with such an education, it is by no 
means necessary that he should devote his whole schorf 
existence to physical science : in fact, no one woul^ 
lament so one-sided a proceeding more than I. Nay 
more, it is not necessary- for him to give up more than k 
moderate share of his time to such studies, if they bs 
properly selected and arranged, and if he be trained i 
them in a fitting manner. 

I conceive the proper course to be somewhat i 
follows. To begin with, let every child be instructed iA 
those general views of the phenomena of Nature foi 
which we have no exact English name- The neare 
approximation to a name for what I mean, which 
possess, is " physical geography." The Germans have i 
better, " Erdkunde," (" earth knowledge " or " geology' 
in its et}-mological sense,) that is to say, a general know 
ledge of the e;uth, and what is on it, in it, and about ii 
If any one who has had experience of the ways of yom 


iichildren will call to mind their questions, he will find 
lat so far as they can be put into any scientific category, 
ihey come under this head of " Erdkunde." The cliild 
Lsks, " What is the moon, and why doea it shine t " 
' What is this water, and where does it run ? " " What 
is the wind?" " What makes the waves in the sea?" 
f Where does this animal live, and what is the use of 
lat plant 1 " And if not snubbed and stunted by being 
told not to ask foolish questions, there is no limit to the 
intellectual craving of a young child ; uor any bounds to 
the slow, but solid, accretion of knowledge and develop- 
ment of the thinking faculty in this way. To all such 
questions, answers which are necessarily incomplete, 
though true as far as they go, may be given by any 
teacher whose ideas represent real knowledge and not 
mere Iwok learning ; and a panoramic view of Nature, 
accompanied Ity a strong infusion of the scientific habit 
mind, may thus be placed within the reach of every 
ild of nine or ten. 
[ After this preliminary opening of the eyes to the 
reat spectacle of the daily progress of Nature, as the 
toning faculties of the child grow, and he becomes 
' femiliar with the use of the tools of knowledge — reading, 
writing, and elementary mathematics — he should pass 
on to what is, in the more strict sense, physical science. 
Now there are two kinds of physical science : the one 
regards form and the relation of forms to one another ; 
the other deals with causes and cGfects, In many of 
what we term our sciences, these two kinds are mixed 
Up together; but systematic botany is a pure example 

tthe former kind, and physics of the latter kind, of 
nee. Every educational advantage which training 


in physical science can give is obtainable from the proper 
study of these two ; and I should be contented, for the 
present, if they, added to our " Erdkunde," furnished 
the whole of the scientific curriculum of schools. Indeed, 
I conceive it would be one of the greatest boons which 
could be conferred upon England, if henceforward every 
child in the country were instructed in the general 
knowledge of the things about it, in the elements 
of physics, and of botany. But I should be still 
better pleased if there could be added somewhat of 
chemistry, and an elementary acquaintance with himian 

So far as school education is concerned, I want to go 
no further just now ; and I believe thtit such instruction 
would make an excellent introduction to that preparatory 
scientific training which, as I have indicated, is so essen- 
tial for the successful pursuit of our most important pro- 
fessions. But this modicum of instruction must be so 
given as to ensure real knowledge and practical discipline. 
If scientific education is to be dealt with as mere book- 
work, it will be better not to attempt it, but to stick to 
the Latin Grammar, which makes no pretence to be any- 
thing but bookwork. 

If the great benefits of scientific training are sought, 
it is essential that such training should be real : that is 
to say, that the mind of the scholar should be brought 
into direct relation with fact, that he should not merely 
be told a thing, but made to see by the use of his own 
intellect and ability that the thing is so and no otherwise. 
The great peculiarity of scientific training, that in virtue 
of which it cannot be replaced by any other discipline 
whatsoeyer, is this bringing of the mind directly into 


contact with fact, ancl practising the intellect in the 
complet«st form of induction ; that is to say, in drawing 
conclusions from particular facts made known by imrae- 
diato observation of Nature. 

The other studies which enter into ordinary education 
do not discipline the mind in this way. Mathematical 
training is almost purely deductive. The mathematician 
starts with a few simple propositions, the proof of which 
is so obvious that they are called self-evident, and the 
rest of his work consists of subtle deductions from them. 
The teaching of languages, at any rate as ordinarily 
practised, is of the same general nature, — authority and 
tradition furnish the data, and the mental operations of 
the scholar are deductive. 

Again : if historj- be the subject of study, the facts 
are still taken upon the evidence of tradition and au- 
thority. You cannot make a boy see the battle of 
Thermopylie for himself, or know, of his own knowledge, 
that Cromwell once ruled England. There is no getting 
into direct contact with natural fact by this road ; there 
i.s no dispensing with authority, but rather a resting 
upon it. 

In all these respects, science differs from other edu- 
cational discipline, and prepares the scholar for common 
life, "What have we to do in every-day life? Most of 
the business which demands our attention is matter of 
fact, which needs, iu the first place, to lie accurately 
observed or apprehended ; in the second, to be in- 
terpreted by inductive and deductive reasonings, which 
Jire altogether similar in their nature to those employed 
in science. In the one case, as in the other, whatever is 
token for granted is so taken at one's own peril ; fact 


and reason are the ultimate arbiters, and patience a 
honesty are tlie great helpers out of difficulty. 

But if scientific training is to yield its most emind 
results, it must, I repeat, be made practical. That is lj 
say, in explaining to a child the general phenomena d 
Nature, you must, as far as possible, give reality to yotd 
teaching by object-lessons ; in teaching him botany, 1 
must handle the plants and dissect the flowers for hii 
self ; in teaching hira physics and chemistry, you mJ 
not be solicitous to fill him with information, but j 
must be careful that what he learns he knows of his o 
knowledge. Don't be satisfied with telling him thafrB 
magnet attracts iron. Let him see that it does ; let himl 
feel the pull of the one upon the other for himself. And, ■ 
especially, tell him that it is his duty to doubt until he 
is compelled, by the absolute authority of Nature, to 
believe that which is written in books. Pursue this 
discipline carefully and conscientiously, and you may 
make sure that, liowever scanty may be the measure of 
information which you have poured into the boy's miii 
you have created an intellectual habit of priceless valw 
in practical life. 

One is constantly asked. When should this scientifi 
education be commenced ? I should say with the daw: 
of intelligence. As I have already said, a child i 
for information about matters of physical science as e 
as it begins to talk. The firat teaching it wants is an 
object-lesson of one sort or another ; and as soon as it 
is fit for systematic instruction of any kind, it is fit , 
for a modicum of science. 

People talk of the difficulty of teaching 3'oui^ 
children such matters, and in the same breath insi 


^^ipoii their learning their Catechism, which contains 
jtropositions far harder to comprehend than anything 
in the educational course I have proposed. Again, I am 
incessantly told that we, who advocate the introduction 
of science into schoola, make no allowance for the 
stupidity of the average boy or girl ; but, in my belief, 
that stupidity, in nine cases out of ten, "■Jit, non 
ncuscitur," and is developed by a long process of parental 
and pedagogic repression of the natural intellectual 
appetites, accompanied by a persistent attempt to create 
artificial ones for food which is not only tasteless, but 
^essentially indigestible. 

^^ Those who urge the difficulty of instructing young 
^^■tople in science are apt to forget another very im- 
^^ortant condition of success — important in all kinds of 
teacliing, but most essential, I am disposed to think, 
when the scholars are very young. This condition is, 
that the teacher should himself really and practically 
know his subject. If he does, he will be able to speak 
uf it in the easy language, and with the completeness 
of conviction, with which he tiilkg of any ordinary 
everj'-day matter. If he does not, he will be afraid to 
wander Ijeyond the limits of the technical phraseology 
which he has got up ; and a dead dogmatism, M'hich 
oppresses, or raises opposition, will take the place of the 
lively confidence, born of personal conviction, which 
cheers and encourages the eminently sympathetic mind 
of childhood. 

I have already hinted that such scientific training as 
we seek for may be given without making any ex- 
travagant claim upon the time now devoted to education. 
We ftsk only for " a most favoured nation " clause in our 


treaty with the schoolmaster ; we demand no more than 
that science shall have as much time given to it as any- 
other single subject — say four hours a week in each class 
of an ordinary school. 

For the present, I think men of science would be well 
content with such an arrangement as this ; but, speaking 
for myself, I do not pretend to believe that such an 
arrangement can be, or will be, permanent. In these 
times the educational tree seems to me to have its roots 
in the air, its leaves and flowers in the ground ; and, I 
confess, I should very much like to turn it upside down, 
so that its roots might be solidly embedded among the 
facts of Nature, and draw thence a sound nutriment 
for the foliage and fruit of literature and of art. No 
educational system can have a claim to permanence, 
unless it recognises the truth that education has two 
great ends to which everything else must be subordinated. 
The one of these is to increase knowledge ; the other is 
to develop the love of right and the hatred of wrong. 

With wisdom and uprightness a nation can make its 
way worthily, and beauty will follow in the footsteps 
of the two, even if she be not specially invited ; while 
there is perhaps no sight in the whole world more 
saddening and revolting than is ofiered by men sunk 
in ignorance of everything but what other men have 
written ; seemingly devoid of moral belief or guidance ; 
but with the sense of beauty so keen, and the power of 
expression so cultivated, that their sensual caterwauling 
may be almost mistaken for the music of the spheres. 

At present, education is almost entirely devoted to 
the cultivation of the power of expression, and of the 
sense of literary beauty. The matter of having any- 

thing to say, beyond a hash of other people's opinions, 
or of possessing any criterion of beauty, so that we may 
distinguish between tlie Godlike and the devilish, is 
left aside as of no moment. I think I do not en- in 
saying that if science were made the foundation of 
I education, instead of being, at most, stuck ou as cornice 
> the edifice, this state of things could not exist. 
In advocatmg the introduction of physical science 
as a leading element in education, I by no means refer 
only to the higher schools. On the contrary, I believe 
that such a change is even more imperatively called for 
in those primary schools, in which the children of the 
poor are expected to turn to the best account the little 
time they can devote to the acquisition of knowledge, 
A great step in this direction has already been made 
by the establishment of science-classes under the De- 
partment of Science and Art,^ — a measure which came 
into existence unnoticed, but which will, I believe, turn 
out to Ite of more importance to the welfare of the 
p eople, than many political changes, over which the noise 
Hk battle Jias rent the air. 

^H Under the regulations to which I refur, a schoolmaster 

^Tan set up a class in one or more branches of science ; 

his pupils will be examined, and the State will pay him, 

at a certain rate, for all who succeed in passing. I 

Brittve acted as an examiner under this system from the 

P^^inning of its establishment, and this year I expect 

to have not fewer than a couple of thousand sets of 

answers to questions in Physiologj', mainly from young 

people of the artisan class, who have been taught in 

llic schools which are now scattered all over Great 

Britain and Ireland. Some of my colleagues, who have 




to tlcal with 8ubje(!t3 such aa Geometry, for which t 
present teaching power is better organized, I undex 
stand are likely to have three 'or four times as man] 
papers. So far as ray own subjects are concerned, I cU 
undertake to say that a great deal of the teaching, tl 
results of which are before me in these examinations, 
very sound and good ; and I think it is in the power a 
the examiners, not only to keep up the present standard 
but to cause an almost unlimited improvement. Now 
what does this mean ? It means that by holding ooj 
a ver)' moderate inducement, the masters of primaij 
schools in many parts of the eountiy have been led 1 
convert them into little foci of scientific instruction ; and 
that they and tlieir pupils have contrived to find, or t 
make, time enough to carry out this object with a very 
considerable degree of efficiency. That efficiency will; 
I doubt not, be very much increased aa the system 
becomes known and perfected, even with the very 
limited leisure left to masters and teachers on week- 
days. And this leads me to ask. Why should scientific 
teaching be limited to week-days ? 

Ecclesiastically-minded persons are in the habit cSm 
calling things they do not like by very hard names, andl 
I should not wonder if they brand the proposition 1 1 
am about to make as blasphemous, and worse. But, no&<l 
minding this, I venture to aak. Would there really I 
anything wrong in using part of Sunday for the pur- 
pose of instructing those who have no other leisure, iu i 
knowledge of the phenomena of Nature, and of man'sj 
relation to nature ? 

I should like to see a scientific Sunday-school lu evoiyfl 
parish, not for the purpose of superseding any exlstil^ 


means of teaching the people the things that are for 
their good, but side by side with them. I cannot but 
bhink that there is room for all of us to work in help- 
ing to bridge over the great abyss of ignorance which 
lies at our feet 

And if any of the ecclesiastical persons to whom I 
have referred, object that they find it derogatory to the 
honour of the God whom they worship, to awaken the 
minds of the young to the infinite wonder and majesty 
of the works which they proclaim His, and to teach 
them those laws which must needs be His laws, and 
therefore of all things needful for man to know — I can 
only recommend them to be let blood and put on low 
diet. There must be something very wrong going on 
in the instrument of logic, if it turns out such conclu- 
sions from such premisses. 



The subject to which I have to beg your attention 
during the ensuing hour is '' The Relation of Physio- 
logical Science to other branches of Knowledge." 

Had circumstances permitted of the delivery, in 
their strict logical order, of that series of discourses 
of which the present lecture is a member, I should 
have preceded my friend and colleague Mr. Henfrey, 
who addressed you on Monday last; but while, for 
the sake of that order, I must beg you to suppose that 
this discussion of the Educational bearings of Biology 
in general does precede that of Special Zoology and 
Botany, I am rejoiced to be able to take advantage 
of the light thus already thrown upon the tendency 
and methods of Physiological Science. 

Regarding Physiological Science, then, in its widest 
sense — as the equivalent of Biology — the Science of 
Individual Life — we have to consider in succession : 

1. Its position and scope as a branch of knowledge. 

2. Its value as a means of mental discipline. 


3. Its worth 05 practical informatioa. 
ind lastly, 

4. At what period it may best be made a branch of 

Our conclusions on the first of these heads must 
depend, of course, upon the nature of the subject- 
matter of Biology ; and I think a few preliminary 
ctmsiderations wdl place liefore you in a clear light 
the vast difference wliich exists between the living 
botlies with which Physiological science is concerned, 
and the remainder of the universe ; — between the phteno- 
mcna of Number and Space, of Physical and of CJiemieal 
kxce, on the one hand, and those of Life on the other. 

Tlie mathematician, the physicist, and the chemist 
itemplatc things in a condition of rest; they look 
upon a state of equilibrium as that to wliich all bodies 
normally tend. 

The matliematieian does not suppose that a quantity 
win alter, or that a given point in space wUl change 
its direction with regard to another point, sponta- 
neously. And it is the same with the physicist. When 
Newton saw the apple fall, he concluded at once that 
tic act of falling was not the result of any power 
inherent in the apple, but that it was the result of the 
iictiou of something else on the apple. In a simitar 
manner, all physical force is regarded as the disturbance 
of an equilibrium to which things tended before its 
exertion, — to wliich they will tend again after its 

Tlie chemist equally regards chemical change in a 
Ijody. as the effect of the action of something external 
to the body changed. A chemical compound once 


formed would persist for ever, if no alteration took 
place iu surrounding conditions. 

But to the student of Life the aspect of nature i« 
reversed. Here, incessant, and, so far aa we knoWj 
spontaneous change is the rule, rest the exception— 
the anomaly to be accounted for. Living things haw 
no inertia, and tend to no equilibrium. 

Permit me, however, to give more force and cicala 
Dess to these somewhat abstract considerations, by an 
illustration or two. 

Imagine a vessel full of water, at the ordinary teni" 
perature, in an atmosphere saturated with vapour. The 
quantity and the figure of that water will not chauge^ 
so far as we know, for ever. 

Suppose a lump of gold be thrown into the vessel- 
motion and disturbance of figure exactly proportioni 
to the momentum of the gold will take placa Bui 
after a time the effects of this disturbance will subside 
— equilibrium will be restored, and the water will return 
to its passive state. 

Expose the water to cold — it will solidify — and in a 
doing its particles wUl arrange themselves in definite 
crystalline shapes. But once formed, these crystals 
change no further. 

Again, substitute for the lump of gold some aubsbwce 
capable of entering into chemical relations with the 
water : — say, a mass of that substance which is called 
" protein " — the substance of llesh : — a very considerable 
disturbance of equilibrium will take place — all sorts dt 
chemical compositions and decompositions will occurj 
but in the end, aa before, the result will be the resump 
ion of a condition of reat. 


Instead of such a raaas of dead protein, however, 
ike a particle of living protein — one of those minute 
bicroscopic living things which throng our pools, and 
are known as Infusoria — such a creature, for instance, 
as an Euglena, and place it in our vessel of water. 
It is a round mass provided with a long filament, and 
except in this peculiarity of shape, presents no appre- 
ciable physical or chemical difference whereby it might 
t distinguished from tlie particle of dead protein. 
But the difference in the phEenomena to which it 
II give rise is immense : in the first place it will 
develop a vast quantity of physical force — cleaving 
the water in all directions with ronsiderable rapidity 

tr means of the vibrations of the long filament or 
Kor is the amount of chemical energy which the 
itle creature possesses less striking. It is a perfect 
boratory in itself, and it will act and react upon 
the water and the matters contained therein ; converting 
tbem into new compounds resembling its own substance, 

»d, at the same time, giving up portions of its own 
balance which have become effete. 
Furthermore, the Euglena will increase in size ; but 
this increase is by no means unlimited, as the mcreaae 
(rf a crystal might be. After it has grown to a certain 

►tent it divides, and each portion assumes the form 
the original, and proceeds to repeat the process of 
growth and division. 

Nor is this all For after a series of such divisions 
^^nd aubdivisioDS, tliese minute points assume a totally 
^|bw fonn, lose their long tails — round themselves, and 
^^■crete a sort of envelope or box, in which they remain 


s]iut up for a time, eventually to resume, directly or 
indirectly, their primitive mode of existence. 

Now, so far as we know, there ia no natural limit 
to the existence of the Euglena, or of any other living 
germ. A living species once launched into existence 
tends to live for ever. 

Consider how widely difierent this living particle 
from the dead atoms witli which the physicist and 
chemist have to do I 

The particle of gold falls to the bottom and r 
the particle of dead protein decomposes and disappeara 
— it also rests ; but the Imng protein mass neither 
tends to exhaustion of its forces nor to any permanency 
of form, but is essentially distinguished as a disturber 
of equilibrium so far as force is concerned, — as under* 
going continual metaraorpliosis and change, in point 
of form. 

Tendency to equilibrium of force and to permanency 
of form then, are the characters of that portion of the 
imiverse which does not live — the domain of the chemist 
and physicist. 

Tendency to disturb existing equilibrium, — to take 
on forms which succeed one another in definite cycles 
is the character of the living world. 

What is the cause of this wonderful difierence betwec 
the dead particle and the living particle of matti 
appearing in other respects identical ? that difi^ereni 
to which we give the name of Life ? 

I, for one, cannot tell you. It may be that, by and 
by, philosophers will discover some higher laws 
which the facts of life are particular cases — very possibly 
tijejy will find out some bond between phpieo-chemica 


^iienomena on the one hand, and vital phjenomena 
on the Qther. At present, however, we assuredly know 
of none ; and I think we shall exercise a wise humility 
in confessing that, for us at least, this successive assump- 
tion of diffei'ent states — {external conditions remaining 
the same) — this spontaneity of action — if I may use 
a t«rm which implies more than I would be answerable 
for — whieh constitutes so vast and plain a practical 
distinction between living bodies aud those which do 
not live, is an ultimate fact ; indicating as such, the 
istencc of a broad line of demarcation between the 
bject-matter of Biological and that of all other sciences, 
For I would have it understood that this simple 
glena is the type of all living thiugs, so far as the 
rtinction between these and inert matter is concerned. 
3iat cycle of changes, which is constituted by perhaps 
pt more than two or three steps in the Euglena, is 
b clearly manifested in the multitudinous stages through 
ffbick the germ of an oak or of a man passes. What- 
forms the Living Being may take on, whether 
DQple or complex, production, grou'th, reproduction, 
the phsenomena which distinguish it from that 
pbich does not live. 

If this be true, it is clear that the student, in passing 
, the pliysieo-chemical to the physiological sciences. 
■s upon a totally new order of facts ; and it will 
be for ua to consider how far these new facts 
pvolve new methods, or require a modification of thosr 
Itith which he is already acquainted. Now a great 
1 is said about the peculiarity of the scientific method 
general, and of the difierent methods which arc 
rsued in the different sciences. The Mathematics 




are said to have one special method ; Pliyaica another. 
Biology a tliird, and so forth. For my own part, I 
must confess that I do not understand this phraseology. 

So far aa I can arrive at any clear comprehemiioa 
of the matter. Science is not, as many would seem to 
suppose, a modification of the black art, suited to the 
tastes of the nineteenth century, and flourishing mainly 
in consequence of the decay of the Inquisition. 

Science is, I believe, nothing but trained and orgo' 
nized common sense, differing from the latter only as 
a veteran may differ from a raw recruit : and its methods 
differ from those of common sense only so far as the' 
guardsman's cut and thrust differ from the manner 
in which a savage wields his club. The primary poww 
is the same in each case, and perhaps the untutored 
savage has the more brawny arm of the two. The' 
real advantage lies in the point and polish of the^ 
swordsman's weapon ; in the trained eye quick to spy 
out the weakness of the adversaiy ; in the ready hand. 
prompt to follow it on the instant. But after aU, the 
sword exercise ia only the hewing and poking of th» 
clubman developed and perfected. 

So, the vast results obtained by Science are won 
by no mystical faculties, by no mental processes, other 
than those which are practised by every one of us^ 
in the humblest and meanest affairs of life. A detective 
policeman discovers a burglar from the marks made 
by his shoe, by a mental process identical with that 
by "which Cuvier restored the extinct animals of Mont* 
marti'e from fragments of their bones. Nor does that 
process of induction and deduction by which a lady, 
finding a stain of a peculiar kind upon her dress, con- 


eludes that somebody has upset the inkstand thereon, 
differ in any way, in kind, from that by which Adams 
and Leverrier discovered a new planet. 

The man of science, in fact, simply uses with scru- 
pulous exactness, the methods which we all, habitually 
and at every moment, use caitlessly ; and the man 
of business must as much avail himself of the scientific 
method — must be as truly a man of science — as the 
veriest Ijookworm of us all ; though I have no doubt 
that the man of business will find himself out to be a 
I>hilosopher with as much surprise as M. Jourdain 
exhibited, when he dJscovpred that he had been all 
his life talking prose. If, however, there be no real 
difference between the methods of science and those 
of common life, it would seem, on the face of the 
matter, highly improbable that there should be any 
difference Ijetween the methods of the different sciences ; 
nevertheless, it is constantly taken for granted, that 
there is a very wide difference between the Physiological 
and other sciences in point of method. 

In the first place it is said — and I take this point 

fiiBt, because the imputation is too frequently admitted 

by Physiologists themselves — that Biology differs from 

the Physico-chemical and Mathematical sciences in 

^J^ing "inexact." 

H| Now. this phrase " inexact " must refer either to the 
^^fethods or to the results of Physiological science. 
^B It cannot be correct to apply it to the methods ; for, 
^■B I hope to show you by and by, these are iden- 
tical in all sciences, and whatever is true of Physiological 
method is true of Physical and Mathematical method. 
^^ Is it then the results of Biological science which are 



"inexact"? I think not. If I say that respiration i^| 
performed by the luugs ; that digestion is efiected in th^| 
stomach ; that the eye ia the organ of sight ; that thioH 
jiiW8 of a vertcbrated animal never open sideways, bu™ 
always up and down ; while those of an aunuloae auimal^^ 
always open sideways, and never up and down — I am 
enumerating propositions which are as exact as anything 
in Euclid. How then has thia notion of the inexactnesa-a 
of Biological science come about ? I believe from t 
causes ; first, because, in consequence of the great conw 
plexity of the science and the multitude of interfering 
conditions, we are very often only enabled to predict! 
appioximatively what will occur under given circum* 
stances ; and secondly, because, on account of the com 
parative youth of the Physiological sciences, a gix^at 
many of their laws are still imperfectly worked out 
But, in- an educational point of view, it is most importaiti 
to distinguish between the essence of a science an^ 
the accidents which surround it ; and essentially, th 
methods and results of Physiology are as exact as thos 
of Physics or Mathematics. 

It ia said that the Physiological method is especially 
CQinparixliv^ ^ ; and this dictum also finds favour- in th( 

1 "In the third place, we have to review the method of Cuuipiirison, wbi 
ia so Bi)eciallj adapted to the atudy of living bodies, aod by which, above 
others, that study mnat be advanced. In Aatronowy, this method H 
necessarily inapplicable ; and it is not till we arrive at ChemiBtr; Uuit thi 
third nieanB of iiivesti)jation can be used, and then ooly in subordination ti 
the two others. It is in the study, both atnticul and dynauical, of liviil| 
bodies that it Gtst acquireE ita full development ; and its uac uUewhere 
l.e only through iu application here." — Comte's PoriHre Pliilotojihy, t 
laled by Miss Martineau. Vol. i. p. 372. 

By nhtit method does M. Comte suppoae that the equality or inequality II 
fiirces and quautitie« and the diasimilurity or similarity of foma— jwintAfl 
gome slight itnportnnce not only in Astronomy and Phisies, bul 
Mdthenui tics — are ascerlained, if not by Compariaou f 


eyes of many. I should be sorry to suggest that the 
speculators on scientific classification have been misled 
by the accident of the name of one leading branch of 
IJiology — Comparative A natomy ; but I wouki ask 
whether comparison, and that classification -which is the 
result of comparison, are not the essence of every science 
whatsoever? How is it possible to discover a i-elation of 
cause and effect of any kind without comparing a series 
of cases together in which the supposed cause and efl'ect 
Ofcui- singly, or combined ? So far from comparison 
being in any way peculiar to Biological science, it is, 
I think, the essence of every science. 

A speculative philosopher again tells us that the 
Biological sciences are distinguiahed by being sciences 
of observation and not of experiment 1 ' 

Of all the strange assertions into which speculation 
out practical acquaintance with a subject may leiul 
even an able man, I think this is the very strangest. 
Physiology not an experimental science ! Why, there 
is not a function of a single organ in the body which has 

t been determined wholly and solely by experiment. 

iw did Har^'cy determine the nature of the cii-culation, 
except by experiment ? How did Sir Charles Belt de- 
termine the functions of the roots of the spinal nerves, 


13 n 

' " Proceeding to the seoond clasa of iiieaiia,— Exiwriment cannot liut lie 
)ea> Uid less decisive, in proportion to the complexity of the phainomelia to Vic 
explore<l ; luid therefore we saw this resource to be lesB effectual in chemistry 
than ui iibysice : and we now find that it ia eminentlj tueful in diemistr; in 
coinp«riinn with physiology. In fact, tkt nature of the phjtnomma leemt Ui 
offiT titfiuut inrurmovniidfle impedienU to any ettemim and proUjie apjilica- 
(ion of ttuh a procahire in biology." — Corate, vol i. p. 3C7. 

M. ('omtc, a« hi* manuer t», contrnciLi'ts himself two pages further on, but 
Ihiit will Wdlj reliere htm from the responaibility of such a pnrajrripli r.s 


save by ex[>eriment ? How do we know the use of 
uerve at all, except by experimeat ? Nay, bow do yoi 
know even that yotir eye is your seeing apparatus, tmle* 
you make the experiment of shutting it ; or that yon 
ear is your bearing apparatus, unless you close it up s 
thereby discover that you become deaf 1 

It would really be much more true to say that Phy 
siology ia the experimental science par excellence of i 
sciences ; that in which there ia least to be learnt b] 
mere observation, and that which affords the great€ 
field for the exercise of those faculties which characteria 
the experimental philosopher. I confess, if any 
were to ask me for a model application of the logic 
experiment, I should know no bett«r work to put inti 
his hands than Bemard'a late Researches oti the Fund 
tiona of the Liver.' 

Not to give this lecture a too controversial tone, how 
ever, I must only advert to one more doctrine, held by 1 
thinker of our own age and country, whose opinions a 
worthy of all respect. It is, that the Biological science 
differ from all others, inasmuch aa in titem classificatiol 
takes place by type and not by definition.' 

' " Nouvelle Fonction du Foie comid^r^ comme organe producteur 
mati^re sucr^e chez rHomme et les Animaux," par AI. Ckude Beniiud. 

' " NoiMTid OroM-pt given hy Type, luit by Difinitimi .... The class u 
steadily fixed, though not precUely limited ; it is given, though not circom- 
scribed ; it is determiced, not bj a boundary-line tritbout, but by a centiftl 
point within ; not by what it atrictlyexcludes, hut what it erainenti; includea ^ 
hj an example, not b; a precept ; in short, instead of Definition we hav« ^ 
Type for out director. A type is an example of an; class, for iDstonce, ^ 
vpeciea of a genus, which is considered as eminently poesessing the chursctOH 
of the class. All the species which have a greater affinity with this typd 
species than with any others, f<jrm the genus, and are ranged nbout fM 
devJAlJiig from it in various directions and different degrees. ''—Whkitb^I 
7^ J Pkilninjih.,1 nf thc ItiiiHcHrr Scienecs, vol. i. pp. 476, 477, ■ 


It is said, in ahovt, that a natural-liistory class is not 
capable of being defined — that the class Rosacese, for 
instance, or the class of Fishes, is not accxirately and 
absolutely definable, inasmuch as its members will pre- 
sent exceptions to every possible definition ; and that 
the members of the class are united together only by 
the circumstance that they are all more liko some 
imaginary average rose or average fish, than they 
resemble anything else. 

But here, as before, J think the distinction has aiiseu 
entirely irom confasing a transitory imperfection with 
an essential character. So long as our infonnation con- 
cerning thera is imperfect, we class all objects together 
according to resemblances which we feel, but cannot 
define : we group them round lyjjes, in short. Thus, 
if you ask an ordinary person what kinds of animals 
there nre, he will probably say, beasts, birds, reptiles, 
fishes, insects, &c. Ask him to define a beast from a 
reptile, and be cannot do it ; but he says, things like a 
cow or a horse ate beasta, and things like a fi-og or a 
lizard are reptiles. You see he does class by type, and 
not by definition. But how does this classification differ 
from that of the scientific Zoologist ? How does the 
meaning of the scientific class-name of "Mammalia" 
differ from the unscientific of "Beasts"? 

Why, exactly because the former depends on a defi- 
nition, the latter on a type. The class Mammalia is 
scientifically defined as " all animals which have a ver- 
l.'bratcd skeleton and suckle their young." Here is no 
reference to type, but a definition rigorous enough for a 
geometrician. And such is the chai'acter which every 
t^n^fi^ aaluraliot recognises as that to which his ciaBses 




must aspire — knowiug, as lie does, that classification hfM 
type is simply an aeknowlodgment of ignorance and M 
temporary device. ■ 

So much in the way of negative argument as against 
the reputed differences, between Biological and other 
methods. No such differences, I believe, really existj 
The subject-matter of Biological science ia differed 
from that of other sciences, but the methods of all an 
identical ; and these methods are — 

1. Observation of facts — including under this heai 
that artificial obseri-alion which ia called experiment. 

2. That process of tying up similar facta into bundled 
ticketed and ready for use, which is called Comparlsoi 
and Classijicalion, — the results of the process, the 
ticketed bundles, being named Geneml propositions. 

3. Deduction, which takes us from the general pnj 
position to facts again — teaches us, if I may so say, t( 
anticipate from the ticket what is inside the bundlj) 
And finally — ' 

4. Verijlcation, which ia the process of asccrtainin 
whether, in point of fact, our anticipation is a corrci 

/ Such are the methods of all science whatsoever ; but 
perhaps you will permit me to give you an ilhifltratiun 
of their employment in the science of Life ; and I will 
take as a special case, the estiiblishment of the doc1 
of the Circulation of the Blood. 

In this case, simple observation yields us a knowli 

of the existence of the blood from some accideni 

htemorrhage, we will say ; we may even grant that 

infoims us of the localization of this blood in particii! 

_ vessels, tlic heart, Ac, from some accidental cut or 


like. It teaches also the existence of a pulse in various 
parts of the body, and acquaints us with the structure of 
ilie heart and vessels. 

Here, however, simple observation stops, and we 
must have recourse to experiment. 

You tie a vein, and you find tbsit the blood accumu- 
l.ites on the side of the ligature opposite the heart. You 
iio an artery, and you find that the blood accumulates 
■ >n the side near the heart. Open the chest, and you 
-iL' the heart contracting with great force. Make open- 
ings into its principal cavities, and you will find that 
(11 the blood flows out, and no more pleasure is exerted 
• >u either side of the arterial or venous ligatui-e. 

Now all these facts, taken together, constitute the 
cvidenrc that the blood is propelled by the heart through 
tlie arteries, and returns by the veins — that, in short, the 
blood circulates. 

Suppose our experiments and observations have been 
made on horses, then we grouj) and ticket them into a 
general proposition, thus : — all horses have a circulation 
of their blood. 

Henceforward a horse is a sort of indication or label, 
telling us where we shall find a peculiar series of plite- 
nomcna called the circulation of the blood. 

Here is our general proposition then. 

How and wheu arc we justified in making our next 
iep — a deduction from it? 

Suppose our phyaiologist, whose experience is limited 
i horsea, meets with a zebra for the first time, — will he 
pose that this genernUzation holds good for zebras 


LTbat depends very much on his turn of mind. IJut 


we will Buppose him to be a bold man. He will say,"* 
" The zebra is certainly not a horac, but it is very like 
one, — -30 like, that it must be the ' ticket ' or mark of a 
blooil-cireulation also ; and, I conclude that the zebn^ 
has a circulation." ^ 

That is a deduction, a very fair deduction, but by no " 
means to be considered scientifically secure. This last 
quality in fact caii only be given by verification — that 
is, by making a zebra the subject of all the experiments 
performed on the horse. Of course, in the present case, 
the deduction would be confirmed by this process of 
verification, and the result would be, not merely a 
positive widening of knowledge, but a fair increase o£ . 
confidence in the truth of one's generalizationa in < 

Thus, having settled tho point in the zebra and hora 
our philosopher would have great confidence in the t 
istence of a circulation in the ass. Nay, 1 fancy most ' 
persons would excuse him, if in this case he did not 
take the trouble to go through the process of verification 
at all ; and it would not be without a parallel in tbi 
history of the human mind, if our imaginary physiologist 
now maintained that he was acquainted with asii 
circulation d priori. 

However, if 1 might impress any caution upon i 
minds, it is, the utterly conditional nature of all ouj 
knowledge, — the danger of neglecting the process i 
verification under any circumstances ; and the film up 
which we rest, the moment our deductions cony 
beyond the reach of this great process of verificatioi 
There is no better instance of this than is afforded I 
the history of our knowledge of the circulation of 1 


Llood in the animal kingdom until the year 1824. In 
every animal possessing a circulation at all, which had 
been observed up to that time, the current of the blood 
was known to take one definite and invariable direction. 
Now, there is a class of animals called Ascidians, which 
possess a heart and a circulation, and up to the period of 
which I speak, no one would have dreamt of questioning 
the propriety of the deduction, tliat these creatures have 
a circulation in one direction ; nor would any one have 
thought it worth whUe to verify the point. But, in that 
year, M. von Hasselt happening to examine a transparent 
animal of this class, found to his infinite surprise, that 
after the heart had beat a certain number of times, it 
stopped, and then began beating the opposite way — so 
as to reverse the coui-se of the current, which returned by 
and by to its original direction. 

I have myself timed the Iieart of these little animals. 
I found it as regular as possible in its periods of reversal : 
and 1 know no spectacle in the animal kingdom more 
wonderful than that which it presents — all the more 
wondei-ful that to this day it remains an unique fact, 
peculiar to this class amoug the whole animated workl. 
At the same time I know of no more striking case ot 
llie necessity of the verification of even those deduc- 
tions which seem founded on the widest and safest 

Such are the methods of Biology — methods which are 
obviously identical with those of all other sciences, and 
therefore wholly incompetent to form the ground of any 

Iistinction between it and them,^ 
* Sore for Ihe plwianre of doing so, I need hardly point ont my otligatioiw 
,Wr. J. 8. Mill's " Syittm of Logic," in thia view of aoientifio method. 


But I shall be asked at once. Do you mean to say 
that there is no diiference between the habit of mind 
of a mathematician and that of a naturalist ? Do yoti 
imagine that Laplace might have been put into tha 
Jardin des Plantes, and Cuvier into the Observatory 
with equal advantage to the progress of the scienca 
they professed ? 

To which I would reply, that nothing could be furtha 
from my thoughts. But different liabits and variooa 
special tendencies of two sciences do not imply differenl 
methods. The mountaineer and the man of the plaini 
have very different habits of progression, and 
would be at a loss in the other's place ; but the method 
of progression, by putting one leg Iiefore the other, il 
the same in each ease. Every step of each is a comW 
nation of a lift and a push ; but the mountiineer lifte 
more and the lowlander pushes more. And I think the 
ease of two sciences resembles this, 

I do not question for a moment, that while the Mathe- 
matician is busied with deductions from general prwi 
positions, the Biologist is more especially occupied wil 
observation, comparison, and those processes which lead 
(0 general propositions. All I wish to insist upon i^ 
that this difference depends not on any fundamental 
distinction in the sciences themselves, but on the ao- 
t.:idents of their subject-matter, of their relative com* 
plesity, and consequent relative perfection. 

The Mathematician deals with two properties 
objects only, number and extension, and all the in« 
ductions he wants have been formed and finished age( 
ago. He is occupied now with nothing but deductioa 
and verification. 


The Biologist deale with a vast number of properties 

■ objects, and his inductions will not be completed, I 

, for ages to eorae ; but when they are, his science 

I be as deductive and as exact as the Mathematics 


Such is the relation of Biology to those sciences which 
liieal with objects having fewer properties than itself 
But as the student, in reaching Biology, looks back upon 
sciences of a less complex and therefore more perfect 
nature ; so, on the other hand, does he look forward to 
other more complex and les.? perfect branches of know- 
ledge. Biology deals only with living beings as isolated 
things — treats only of the life of the individual : but 
there is a higher division of science still, which considers 
living beings as aggregates — which deals with the rela- 
tion of liWng beings one to another — the science which 
ohseri'es men — whose experiments are made by nations 
one' upon another, in battle-fields — whose general jwopo- 
sitions are embodied in history,. morality, and religion— 
whose deductioiis lead to our happiness or our misery, 
— and whose verifications so often come too late, and 
serve only 

M., " To point a monU or adom a tale " — 

^Kmean the science of Society or Sociology, 
■ I think it is one of the grandest features of Biology, 
that it occupies this central position in human know- 
ledge. There is no side of the humau mind which 
physiological study leaves uncultivated. Connected by 
innumerable ties with absti'act science, Physiology is yet 
in the most intimate relation with humanity ; and by 
teaching us that law and order, and a definite scheme 
of development, regulate even the strangest and wildest 



iiianifeatatious of individual life, she prepares the student 
to look for a goal even amidst the erratic wanderings of 
mankind, and to believe that history offers something 
more than an entertaining chaos — a journal of a toilsome 
tragi-comic march nowhither. 

The preceding considerations have, I hope, served to 
indicate the replies which befit the two first of the 
'jUCBtions which I set before you at starting, viz. what is 
the range and position of Physiological Science as 
braneli of knowledge, and what ia its value as a means 
of mental discipline. 

Its snhject-matter is a large moiety of the umverse— ^ 
its posilion is midway between the physico-chemical ana 
the social sciences. Its value as a branch of disciplinft 
is imrtly that which it has in common with all sciences— 
the training and strengthening of common sense ; part^ 
that which is more peculiar to itself — the great exercise 
which it affords to the faculties of observation and cbna* 
pai'ison ; and I may add, the exactness of knowledge 
which it Kquires on the part of those among its votaries 
who desire to extend its boundaries. 

If what has been said as to the position and seo] 
of Biology be correct, our third question^ — What is the 
practical value of physiological instruction ? — might, cms 
would think, be left to answer itself. 

On other grounds even, were mankind deserving 
the title "rational," which they arrogate to themselves 
there can be no question that they would consider, as the 
most necessary of all branches of instruction for them* 
selves and for their children, that which professes to 
acquaint them with the conditions of the existence they 
prize Bo highly — which teaches them how to avoid 



le and to cherish health, in themselves aud those 
who are dear to them. 

I am addressing, I imagine, an audience of educated 
ins ; and yet I dare venture to assert that, -with the 
Exception of those of my hearers who may chance to 
tave received a medical education, there is not one who 
could tell me what is the meaning aud use of an act 
which he performs a score of times every minute, and 
whose suspension would involve his immediate death ; — 
I mean the act of breathing — or who could state in 
precise terms why it is that a confined atmosphere is 
injurious to health. 

The practical value of Physiological knowledge I 
Why is it that educated men can be found to maintain 
that a slaughter-house in the midst of a great city ia 
rather a good thing than otherwise ? — that mothei-a 
pei-sist in exposing the largest possible amount of surface 
of their children to the cold, by the absurd style of dress 
they adopt, and then marvel at the peculiar dispensation 
of Providence, which removes their infants by bronchitis 
and gastric fever? Why is it that quackery lides ram- 
pant over the land ; and that not long ago, one of the 
;est public rooms in this great city could be filled by 
audience gravely listening to the reverend expositor 
of the doctrine — that the simple physiological phaenomena 
known aa spirit-rapping, table-turning, phreuo-magnetism, 
and by I know not what other absurd and inappropriate 
■Ames, are due to the direct aud pei-sonal agency of Satan? 
P Why ia all this, except from the utter ignorance as to 
"tlie simplest laws of their own animal life, which prevails 
among even the most highly educated persons in this 

luutry ? 


But there are other branches of Biological Science, 
besides Physiology proper, whose practical influence, 
though less obvious, is not, as I believe, less certain. I 
have heard educated men speak with an ill-disguised 
contempt of the studies of the naturalist, and ask, not 
without a shrug, " What is the use of knowing all about 
these miserable animals — what bearing has it on human 
life ? " 

I will endeavour to answer that question. I take it 
that aU will admit there is definite Government of this 
universe — that its pleasures and pains are not scattered 
at random, but are distributed in accordance with orderly 
and fixed laws, and that it is only in accordance with 
all we know of the rest of the world, that there should 
be an agreement between one portion of the sensitive 
creation and another in these matters. 

Surely then it interests us to know the lot of other 
animal creatures — however far below us, they are still 
the sole created things which share with us the capability 
of pleasure and the susceptibility to pain. 

I cannot but think that he who finds a certain pro- 
portion of pain and evil inseparably woven up in the life 
of the very worms, wiU bear his own share with more 
courage and submission ; and will, at any rate, view with 
suspicion those weakly amiable theories of the Divine 
government, which would have us believe pain to be an 
oversight and a mistake, — to be corrected by and by. 
On the other hand, the , predominance of happiness 
among living things — their lavish beauty — the secret and 
wonderful harmony which pervades them all, from the 
highest to the lowest, are equally striking refutations of 

t modem Manichean doctrine, which exhibits the 


world as a slave-mill, worked with many tears, for mere 
utilitarian ends. 

There is yet another way in which natural history 
may, I am convinced, take a profound hold upon practical 
life, — and that is, by its influence over our finer feelings, 
as the greatest of all sources of that pleasure which is 
derivable from beauty. 1 do not pret<?ud that natural- 
history knowledge, as such, can increase our sense of the 
beautiful in natm-al objects, I do not suppose that the 
dead soul of Peter Bell, of whom the groat poet of 

{tare says, — 
A primrose by the river'a brim, 
A yellow primrose wna to bim, — 
And it w(u nothing mote,'- 
mid have been a whit roused from its apathy, by the 
information that the primrose is a Dicotyledonous 
Exogen, with a mouopetalous corolla and central placen- 
tation. But I advocate natural-historj' knowledge from 
this point of view, because it would lead us to seek the 
beauties of natural objects, instead of trusting to chance 
to force them on our attention. To a person uninstrueted 
in natural history, his country, or sea-side, stroll is a walk 
through a gallery filled with wonderful works of art, 
nine-tenths of which have their faces turned to the wall. 
^Teach him something of natural history, and you place 
^b his hands a catalogue of those which are worth 
^Bbning round. Surely our innocent pleasures are not so 
^abundant in this life, that we can afi'ord to despise this 
or any other source of them. We should fear being 
^ianished fur our neglect to that limbo, where the great 
^■orentine t^ils us are tliose who, duriug this life, "wept 
^^nea they might be joyful." 


But I shall be trespassing unwarrantably on your 
kindness, if I do not proceed at once to my last point — * 
the time at which Physiological Science should first fonn 
a part of the Curriculum of Education. 

The distinction between the teaching of the facts of a 
science as instruction, and the teaching it systematically 
as knowledge, has already been placed before you in a 
previous lecture : and it appears to me, that, as with 
other sciences, the common facts of Biology — the uses of 
parts of the body — ^the names and habits of the living 
creatures which surround us — may be taught with 
advantage to the youngest child. Indeed, the avidity of 
children for this kind of knowledge, and the comparative 
ease with which they retain it, is something quite 
marvellous. I doubt whether any toy would be ao- 
acceptable to young children as a vivarium, of the same 
kind as, but of course on a smaller scale than, those 
admirable devices in the Zoological Gardens, 

On the other hand, systematic teaching in Biology 
cannot be attempted with success until the student haa 
attained to a certain knowledge of physics and chemistry 
for though the phenomena of life are dependent neither 
on physical nor on chemical, but on vital forces, yet they 
result in all sorts of physical and chemical changes, 
which can only be judged by their own laws. 

And now to sum up in a few words the conclusions to 
which I hope you see reason to follow me. 

Biology needs no apologist when she demands a place 
— and a prominent place — in any scheme of education 
worthy of the name. Leave out the Physiological 
sciences from your curriculum, and you launch the 
student into the world, undisciplined in that science 


we subject-matter would best develop his powers of 
oteervation ; ignorant of facts of the deepest importance 
for his own and others' welfare; blind to the richest 
sources of beauty in God's creation ; and unprovided 
with that belief in a living law, and an order manifesting 
itself in and through endless cliange and variety', which 
might serve to check and moderate that phase of despair 
Mugb which, if he take an earnest interest in social 

idems, he will assuredly sooner or later pass. 

Jly, one word for myself. I have not hesitated to 
speak strongly where I have felt strongly ; and I am but 
too conscious that the indicative and imperative moods 
have too often taken the place of the more becoming 
subjunctive and conditional. I feel, therefore, how 
necessary it is to beg you to forget the personality of 
him who has thus ventured to address you, and to con- 
sider only the truth or error in what has been said. 



Natural History is the name familiarly applied to the 
study of the properties of such natural bodies as mine- 
rals, plants, and animals ; the sciences which embody 
the knowledge man has acquired upon these subjects 
are commonly termed Natural Sciences, in contradistinc- 
tion to other, so-called " physical," sciences ; and those 
who devote themselves especially to the pursuit of 
such sciences have been, and are, commonly termed 
" Naturalists." 

Linnaeus was a naturalist in this wide sense, and his 
*^ Systema Naturae " was a work upon natural history, in 
the broadest acceptation of the term ; in it, that great 
methodizing spirit embodied all that was known in his 
time of the distinctive characters of minerals, animals, 
and plants. But the enormous stimulus which Linnaeus 
gave to the investigation of nature soon rendered it 
impossible that any one man should write another 
" Systema Naturae," and extremely difficult for any one 
to become a naturalist such as Linnaeus was. 

Great as have been the advances made by all the three 


branches of scjeuce, of old included under the title of 
natural history, there can be no doubt that zoology and 
botany have grown in an enormously greater ratio than 
mineralogy ; and hence, as I suppose, the name of 
" natural history " has gradually become more and more 
definitely attached to these prominent divisions of the 
subject, and by "natm-alist" people have meant more 
and more distinctly to imply a student of the structure 
and functions of living beings. 

However this may be, it is certain that the advance of 
knowledge has gradually widened the distance between 
mineralogy and its old associates, while it has drawn 
zoology and botany closer together ; so that of late yciirs 
it has been found convenient {and indeed necessary) to 
associate the sciences which deal with vitality and all it« 
phenomena under the common head of " biology ; " and 
the biologists have come to repudiate any blood-relation- 
ship with their foster-brothers, the mineralogists. 

Certain broad laws have a general application through- 
ont both the animal and the vegetable worlds, but the 
und common to these kingdoms of nature is not of 
wide ext<>.nt, and the multiplicity of details is so 
it, that the student of living beings finds himself 

(liged to devote his attention exclusively either to the 
one or the other. If he elects to study plants, xmder 
any aspect, we know at once what to call him ; he is a 
botanist, and his science is botany. But if the investi- 

ition of animal life be his choice, the name generally 

iplied to him will vary, according to the kind of 
animals he studies, or the particular phenomena of 
animal life to which he confines his attention. If the 
study of man is his object, he is called an anatomist, or 


a physiologist, or an ethnologist ; but if he dissecl 
animals, or examinea into the mode in which their funi 
tioQS are performed, he is a comparative anatomist < 
comparative physiologist. If he turns his attention 1 
fossil animals, he is a palieontologist. If his mind 
more particularly directed to the description, epecifij 
discrimination, classification, and distribution of animal 
he is termed a zoologist. 

For the purposes of the present discourse, however, 
shall recognise none of these titles save the last, which 
shall employ as the equivalent of botanist, and I sha 
use the term zoology as denoting the whole doctrini 
of animal life, in contradistinction to botany, whi( 
signifies the whole doctrine of vegetable lifa 

Employed in this sense, zoology, like botany, is di' 
visible into three great but subordinate sciences, mor* 
phology, physiology, and distribution, each of whicb 
may, to a very great extent, be studied independently 
of the other. 

Zoological morphology is the doctrine of animal forai 
or structure. Anatomy is one of its branches, develop^ 
ment is another ; while classification is the ezpresaic^ 
of the relations which different animals bear to onrf 
another, in respect of their anatomy and theu: develop- 

Zoological distribution is the study of animals : 
relation to the terrestrial conditions which obtain no' 
or have obtained at any previous epoch of the earth'l 

Zoological physiology, lastly, is the doctrine of th«! 
functtoDs or actions of animals. It regards animal bod 
as machines impelled by certain forces, and pcrforminj 


t amount of work, which can be expressetl in terms of 
I ordinary forces of nature. The final object of pby- 
Wiogy is to deduce the facts of morphology, on the one 
ttid, and those of distribution on the other, from the 
ITS of the molecular forces of matter. 
Such is the scope of zoologj-. But if I were to content 
tyBelf with the enunciation of these dry definitions, I 
lould ill exemplify that method of teaching tliis branch 
I physical science, which it is my chief business to- 
night to recommend. Let us turn away then from 
abstract definitions. Let us take some concrete living 
thing, some animal, the commoner the better, and let ns 
see how the application of common sense and common 
logic to the obvious facta it presents, inevitably leads us 
into all these branches of zoological science. 

I have before me a lobster. When I examine it, what 
appears to be the most striking character it presents ? 
Why, I observe that this part which we call the tail of 
the lobster, is made up of six distinct hard rings and a 
seventh terminal piece. If I separate one of the middle 
rings, say the third, I find it carries upon its under sur- 
face a pail' of limbs or appendages, each of which con- 
sists of a stalk and two terminal pieces. So that I can 
represent a transverse section of the ring and its appen- 
dages upon the diagram board in this way. 

If I now take the fourth ring I find it has the same 
structure, and so have the fifth and the second ; so that, 
in each of these divisions of the tail, I find parts which 
correspond with one another, a ring and two appendages ; 
and in each appendage a stalk and two end pieces. 
These corresponding parts are called, in the technical 
language of anatomy, " homologous parts." The ring 


of the third division is the " homologue " of the : 
of the fifth, the appendage of the former is the lie 
logue of the appendage of the latter. And, as < 
division exhibits correaponding parts in correspondin 
places, we say that all the divisions are eonstnicted ii 
the same plan. But now let us consider the sixth i 
vision. It is similai- to, and yet different from, 1 
others. The ring is essentially the same as in the otli 
divisions ; but the appendages look at first as if they 
were very different ; and yet when we regard them 
closelyj what do we find 1 A stalk and two terminal 
divisions, exactly as in the others, hut the stalk is very 
short and very thick, the teiininal divisions are very 
broad and flat, and one of them is divided into two 

I may say, therefore, that the sixth segment is like the 
others in plan, hut that it is modified in its details. 

The first segment is like the others, so far as its ring Is 
concerned, and though its appendages differ from any of 
those yet examined in the simplicity of their structure, 
parte corresponding with the stem and one of the divi- 
sions of the appendages of the other segments can be 
readily discerned in them. 

Thus it appears that the lobster's tail is composed < 
a BPiies of segments which arc fundamentally similar; 
though each presents peculiar modifications of the plan 
common to all. But when I turn to the fore pai-t of th^ 
hotly I see, at first, nothing but a gi'eat shield-like shell 
called technically the " carapace," ending in front in i 
sharp spine, on either side of which are the curious c 
pound eyes, set upon the ends of stout moveable stalkl 
Behind these, on the under side of the body, are tw 


of long feelers, or antennEe, followed by six pairs of 
jaws, folded against one another over the mouthj and 
five pairs of legs, the foremost of these being the great 
pinchers, or claws, of the lobster. 

It looks, at first, a little hopeless to attempt to find in 
this complex mass a series of rings, each with its pair of 
appendages, such aa I have shown you in the abdomen, 
and yet it is not difficult to demonstrate their existence. 
Strip off the legs, and you will find that each pair is 
attached to a very definite segment of the under wall 
of the body ; but these segments, instead of being the 
lower parts of free rings, as in the tail, are such parts of 
rings which are all solidly united and bound together ; 
and the like is true of the jaws, the feelers, and the eye- 
stalks, every pair of which is borne upon its own special 
lent Thus the conclusion is gradually forced upon 
that the body of the lobster is composed of as many 
rings as there are paii-s of appendages, namely, twenty 
in all, but that the six hindmost rings remain free and 
moveable, while the fourteen front rings become firmly 
soldered together, their backs forming one cozitiuuous 
shield — the carapace. 

Unity of plan, diversity in execution, is the lesson 
lUght by the study of the rings of the body, and the 
ime instruction is given still more emphatically by the 
appendages. If I examine the outermost jaw I find it 
ronsiats of three distinct portions, an inner, a middle, 
and an outer, mounted upon a common stem ; and if I 
compare this jaw with the legs behind it, or the jaws in 
front of it, I find it quite easy to see, that, in the legs, it 
is the part of the appendage which corresponds witli the 
ner division, which becomes modified into what we 




know familiarly as the " leg," while the middle divisiolt 
disappears, and the outer division is hidden under the. 
carapace. Nor is it more diHicult to discern that, in tlw 
appendages of the tail, the middle division appeaiR. 
again and the outer vanishes ; while, on the other band^ 
in the foremost jaw, the so-called mandible, the innet 
division only is left ; and, in the same way, the parts rf 
the feelers and of the eye-stalks can be identified witifc 
those of the legs and jaws. 

But whither does all this tend ? To the very rcmailb* 
able conclusion that- a unity of plan, of the same kind 
tliat discoverable in the tail or abdomen of the lobster,, 
perviides the whole oi-gauization of its skeleton, so that^ 
I can return to the diagram representing any one of the 
rings of the tid, which I drew upon the board, and 1^ 
adding a third division to each appendage, I can use it 
as a sort of scheme or plan of any ring of the body 
can give names to all the parts of that figure, and then 
if I take any segment of the body of the lobster, I can 
point out to you exactly, what modification the general 
plan has undergone in that particular segment ; what 
part has remained moveable, and what has become fixed 
to another ; what has been excessively developed and 
metamorphosed, and what has !>een suppressed. 

But I imagine 1 hear the question. How is all this to 
be tested ? No doubt it is a pretty and ingenious way 
of looking at the structure of any animal, but is it any- 
thing more ? Does Nature acknowledge, in any deeper 
way, this unity of plan we seem to traee ? 

The objection suggested by these questions is a very 
valid and important one, and morphology was in an 
«nsound state, so long as it rested upon the mere percep- 

mists pco««d ittdf M 
of coDtxadielaij' kjftAtam 4 
endless nxK^Mopal ^aemm 
scientific iheory. 

logical tnitii. aad a MR Um «i Jl fciiiiliifci ■ Ov 
lobster has not ahrmjm bcca what we mc k ; it wis oaee 
an egg, a efiHt«irl ■■» «f jo^ ast aa Ug aa « fia'a 
head, amtaiaed ia a baaifaRat BealaiBc^aBd edo- 
biting not the least tiaee if aMj «Be «f tkoae a^pa% 
whose mitltqdicitj and f nmf ir iily . ia Ae adak, axe ao 
surprising. After a Ume a ddieate patc^ ai ctllBlar 
membmne appeared npam. mte fine al dus jolk, and tbat 
^Kittch was the fonndation at the idiole cxeatoie, the cUj 
^H^t of n hich it woold be ^Mmlded. GitadiiaUT iaresdng 
^Tbe yolk, it became sobdirided by tzansrerse constric- 
tions into segmenb^ tlie Socenuuiexs of the rings of the 
body. Upon the Tentnl sorface of each of the rings 
thus sketched out, a pair of bod-like prominent.'es made 
their appearance — the rudiments of the appendages of 
the ring. At first, all the appendages wtre alike, but, as 
they grew, most of them became distinguished into a 
etem and two terminal divisions, to which, in the middle 
(lart of the body, was added a third outer division ; and 
it was only at a later period, that by the modification, or 
abortion, of certain of these primitive constituents, the 
limbs acquired their perfect form. 

Tbua the study of development proves that the doc- 
trine of unity of plan is not merely a fancy, that it is 
Dot merely one way of looking at the matter, but that it 


is the expression of deep-seated natural facts. The legs 
and jaws of the lobster may not merely be regarded as 
modifications of a common type, — ^in fact and in nature 
they are so, — the leg and the jaw of the young animal 
being, at first, indistinguishable. 

These are wonderful truths, the more so because the 
zoologist finds them to be of universal application. The 
investigation of a polype, of a snail, of a fish, of a horse, 
or of a man, would have led us, though by a less easy 
path, perhaps, to exactly the same point Unity of plan 
everywhere lies hidden under the mask of diversity of 
structure — the complex is everywhere evolved out of the 
simple Every animal has at first the form of an egg, 
and every animal and every organic part, in reaching its 
adult state, passes through conditions common to other 
i^nimAk and other adult parts; and this leads me to 
another point I have hitherto spoken as if the lobster 
were alone in the world, but, as I need hardly remind 
you, there are myriads of other animal organisms. Of 
these, some, such as men, horses, birds, fishes, snails, 
slugs, o}'sters, corals, and sponges, are not in the least 
like the lobster. But other animals, though they may 
differ a good deal from the lobster, are yet either very 
like it, or are like something that is like it The cray 
fish, the rock lobster, and the prawn, and the shrimp, for 
example, however different, are yet so like lobsters, that 
a child would group them as of the lobster kind, in con- 
tradistinction to snails and slugs ; and these last agahi 
would form a kind by themselves, in contradistinction to 
cows, horses, and sheep, the cattle kind. 

But this spontaneous grouping into '^kinds'' is the 
first essay of the human mind at classification, or the 



lling by a common uame of those things that are 
alike, and the arranging them in such a manner aa best 
to suggest the sum of their likenesses and unlikenesses 
ito other things. 

Those kinds which include no other subdivisions than 

ttie sexes, or various breeds, are called, in technical 

language, species. Tlie English lobster is a species, 

Cray fish is another, our prawn is another. In other 

tries, however, there are lobsters, cray fish, and 

^TDS, very like ours, and yet presenting sufficient 
differences to deserve distinction. Naturalists, therefore, 
express this resemblance and this diversity by grouping 
them as distinct species of the same "genus." But the 
lobster and the cray fish, though belonging to distinct 
genera, have many features in common, and hence are 

iUped together in an assemblage which is called a 
'fcmily. , More distant resemblances connect the lobster 
with the prawn and the crab, which are expressed by 
putting all these into the same order. Again, more 
remote, but still very definite, resemblances unite the 
ibster with the woodlouse, the king crab, the water- 
and the barnacle, and separate them from all other 
animals ; whence they collectively constitute the larger 
group, or class, Crustacea. But the Crustacea exhibit 
many peculiar features in common with insects, spiders, 
and centipedes, so that these are grouped into the still 
larger assemblage or "province" Articulata ; and, finally, 
Jhe relations which these have to worms and other lower 
Ittiimals, are expressed by combining the whole vast 
aggregate into the sub-kingdom of Annulosa. 

If I had worked my way from a sponge instead of a 
lobster, I should have found it associated, by like ties, 


^^Erar c 



with a great number of other animals into the sub- 
kingdom Protozoa ; if I had selected a finesh-water 
polype or a coral, the members of what naturalists 
term the sub-kingdom Ccelenterata would have grouped 
themselves around my t}^ ; had a snail been chosen, 
the inhabitants of all univalve and bivalve, land and 
water, shells, the lamp shells^ the squids, and the sea- 
mat would have gradually linked themselves on to it as 
members of the same sub-kingdom of Mollusca; and 
finally, starting from man, I should have been compelled 
to admit first, the ape, the rat, the horse, the dc^, into 
the same class ; and then the bird, the crocodile, the 
tuitle, the frog, and the fiish, into the same sub-kingdom 
of Vertebrata. 

And if I had followed out all these various lines of 
(jlaHsification fully, I should discover in the end that 
th(^.re was no animal, either recent or fossil, which did 
not at once fall into one or other of these sub^kingdoms. 
In other words, every animal is organized upon one or 
other of the five, or more, plans, whose existence renders 
our classification possible. And so definitely and pre- 
cisely markcid is the structure of each animal, that, in 
the present state of our knowledge, there is not the least 
evidence to prove that a form, in the slightest degree 
transitional between any of the two groups Verteirata, 
AnnvJosaj Molluscay and CcBlenteratOy either exists, or 
has existed, during that period of the earth's history 
which is recorded by the geologist. Nevertheless, you 
must not for a moment suppose, because no such 
transitional forms are known, that the members of 
the sub-kingdoms are disconnected from, or indepen- 
dent of, one another. On the contrary, in their earliest 



I condition they are all alike, and the primordial germs 
I of a man, a dog, a bird, a fish, a beetle, a anail, and 
polype are, in no essential structural respects, dis- 

In this broad sense, it may with truth be said, tiiat 

all living animals, and all those dead creations whicli 

geology reveals, are bound together by an all-pervading 

unity of organization, of the same character, though not 

qnal m degree, to that which enables us to discern one 

nd the same plan amidst the twenty different segments 

, lobster's body. Tnily it has been said, that to a 

Lelear eye the smallest fact is a window through which 

! Infinite may be seen. 

Turning from these purely mor^ihological considera- 

rtions, let us now examine into the manner in which the 

attentive study of the lobster impels us into other lines 

of research. 

Ijobsters are found in all the European seas ; but on 
Ijdic opposite shores of the Atlantic and in the seas of 
IAc southern hemisphere they do not exist. They are, 
Mowever, represented in these regions by very closely 
lied, but distinct forms — the Homarus Americaiius 
the flomariis Capensis : so that we may say that 
Vtiie European has one species of Ilomarus; the 
I Jonerican, another ; the African, another ; and thus 
|lihe remarkable facts of geographical distribution begin 
) dawn upon us. 

Again, if we examine the contents of the earth's crust, 
i shall find in the hitter of those deposits, which have 
served as the great burying grounds of past ages, num- 
berless lobster-like animals, but none so similar to our 
Uving lobster as to make zoologieta sure that they be- 


longed even to the same genus. If we go still further 
back in time, we discover, in the oldest rocks of all, the | 
remains of animals, eonstmcted on the same general I 
plan as the lobster, and belonging to the same great I 
group of Crustacea ; but for the most part totally I 
different from the lobster, and indeed from any other 1 
living form of crustacean ; and thus we gain a notion of 1 
that successive change of the animal population of the I 
globe, in past ages, which is the moat striking fact 
revealed by geology. I 

Consider, now, where our inquiries have led us. We j 
studied our type morphologically, when we determined i 
its anatomy and its development, and when comparing j 
it, in these reapects, with other animals, we made out ita I 
place in a system of classification. If we were ta J 
examine every animal in a similar manner, we should I 
establish a complete body of zoological morphology. I 

Again, we investigated the distribution of our type in 
space and in time, and, if the like had been done with 
every animal, the sciences of geographical and geological 
distribution would have attained their limit. 

But you will observe one remarkable circumstance, 
that, up to this point, the question of the life of these 
organisms has not come under consideration. Morpho- 
logy and distribution might be studied almost as well, if I 
animals and plants were a peculiar kind of crystals, and I 
possessed none of those functions which distinguish living I 
beings so remarkably. But the facts of morphology and I 
distribution have to be accounted for, and the science, 
whose aim it is to account for them, is Physiology. 

Let us return to our lobster once more. If we watched | 
the creature in its native element, we should see it elimb-J 

in.] ON TUE STUm OF ZOULOOr. 117 

ing actively the submerged rocks, among wliich it deliglita 
to live, by means of its strong legs ; or swimming by 

I powerful strokes of its great tail, the appendages of 
whose sixth joint are spread out into a broad fan-like 
propeller : seize it, and it will show you that its great 
claws are no mean weapons of ofFenee ; suspend a piece 
of carrion among its haunts, and it will greedily devour 
it, tearing and crushing the flesh by means of its multi- 
ludinous jaws. 
Suppose that we had known nothing of the lobster 
but 08 an inert mass, an organic crystal, if I may use the 
phrase, and that we could suddeiJy see it exerting all 
these powers, what wonderful new ideas and new ques- 
tions would arise in our minds ! The great new question 
would be, " How does all this take place 1 " the chief new 
fcidea would be, the idea of adaptation to purpose, — the 
Ruction, that the constituents of animal bodies are not 
mere unconnected paits, but organs working together to 
. end. Let us consider the t;iil of the lobster again 
is point of view. Morphology has taught us 
ihat it is a series of segments composed of homologous 
ivhich undergo various modifications — beneath 
nd through which a common plan of formation is dis- 
nible. But if I look at the same part physiologically, 
'I see that it is a most beautifully constructed organ of 
locomotion, by means of which the animal can swiftly 
^^ propel itself either backwards or forwards. 
^^v But how is this remarkable propulsive machine made 
^^mo perform its functions ? If I were suddenly to kill one 
^Hof these animals and to take out all the soft parts, I 
^Bsbould find the shell to be perfectly inert, to have no 
^^piore power of moving itself than is possessed by the 


thought as large iis those wliich I liave briefly opened 
up to you ; but what I have been saying. I trust, has not 
only enabled you to form a conception of the scope and 
purport of zoology, but has given you an imperfect^ 
example of the manner in which, in ray opinion, that' 
seience, or indeej any physical science, may be beat' 
taught. The great matter is, to make teaching real and 
practical, by fixing the attention of the student on par- 
ticular facta ; but at the same time it should be rendered 
broad and comprehensive, by constant reference to the' 
generalizations of which all particular facts are illustra-* 
tions. The lobster has served as a type of the whole 
animal kingdom, and its anatomy and physiology have 
Qluatrated for ns some of the greatest truths of biology. 
The student who has once seen for himself the facts' 
which I have described, has had their relations explained' 
to him, and has clearly comprehended them, has, bo far, 
a knowledge of zoology, which is real and genuine, how- 
ever limited it may be, and which is worth more than all 
the mere reading knowledge of the science tic could evw 
acquire. His zoological information is, so far, knowledgtt 
and not mere hearsay. 

And if it were my business to fit you for the certificate 
in zoological science granted by this department, I 
should pursue a course precisely similar in principle 
to that which I have taken to-night. I should select 
a fresh-water sponge, a fresh-water polype or a Cyancea, 
a fresh-water mussel, a lobster, a fowl, as types of tlie 
five primary divisions of the animal kingdom. I should 
explain their structure very fully, and show how each 
illustrated the great principles of zoology. Having 
gone very carefully and fully over this ground, I should 


feel that you had a safe foundation, and I should then 
take yon in the same way, but less minutely, over 
similarly selected illustrative types of the classes ; and 
then I should direct your attention to the special forma 
enumerated under the heail of types, in this syllabusi 
and to the other facts there mentioned. 

That would, speaking generally, be my plan. But I 
have undertaken to explain to you the best mode of 
acquiring and communicating a knowledge of zoology, 
and you may therefore fairly ask me for a more 
detiiiled and precise account of the manner in which 
I should propose to furnish you with the information I 
refer to. 

My own impression is, that the best model for all 
kinds of training in physical science is that aflbi-ded 
by the method of teaching anatomy, in use in the 
medical schools. This method consists of three elements 
— lectures, demonstrations, and examinations. 

The object of lectures is, in the first place, to awaken 

. the attention and excite the enthusiasm of the student ; 

this, I am sure, may be effected to a far greater 

jit by the oral discourse and by the personal influence 

F a respected teacher than in any other way. Secondly, 

ictures have the double use of guiding the student 

the salient points of a subject, and at the same 

me forcing him to attend to the whole of it, and not 

merely to that part which takes his fancy. And lastly, 

ictures afford the student the opportunity of seeking 

gcplanations of those difficulties which will, and indeed 

ight to, arise in tlu> coui-sc of his studies. 
LBut for a student to derive the utmost possible value 
, lectures, several precautions are needful. 


machiucry of a mill, -when disconuected from its steam- 
engine or water-wheel. Cut if I were to open it, iiiRl 
take out the viscera only, leaving the wiiite fleali, I 
should perceive that the lobster could bend and extend 
its tail as well as before. If I were to cut off the tail, 1 
should cease to find any spontanoous motion in it ; but 
on pinching any portion of the flesh, I should observe 
that it underwent a very curious change— each fibre be- 
coming shorter and thicker. By this act of contraction, 
as it is termed, the parts to which the ends of the fibre 
are attached ai-e, of course, approximated ; and accord 
ing to the relations of their points of attaeUraent to tl 
centres of motion of the difi'ei-ent rings, the bending i 
the extension of the tail results. Close observation 
the newly opened lobster would soon show that all i 
movements are due to the same cause — the shortenli 
and thickening of these fleshy fibi-es, which are tecliu 
cally called muscles. 

Here, then, is a capital fact. The movements of tl 
lobster are due te muscular contractilit}-. But why da 
a muscle contract at one time and not at another ? Wh 
does one whole group of muscles conti-act when I 
lobster wishes to extend his tail, and another groi 
when he desires to bend it ? What is it originat 
directs, and controls the motive power? 

Experiment, the great instrument for the ascerl 
ment of truth in physical science, answers this queati 
for UB. In tbe head of the lobster there liea a ama! 
mass of that peculiar tissue which is known as ncrvoi 
substance. Cords of similar matter connect this b] 
of the lobster, directly or indirectly, with the muscli 
Now, if these communicating cords ai-e cut, the b; 


remiiining entire, the power of exerting wliat we call 
voluntary motion \n the parts below the section ia de- 
stroyed; and on the other hand, if, the cords remaining 
entire, tlie brain mass be destroyed, the same voluutaiy 
mobility is equally lost. Whence the inevitable conclu- 
sion is, that the power of originating these motions resides 
IK the brain, and is propagated along the nervous cords. 

In the higher animals the phenomena which attend 
this transmission have been investigated, and the exer- 
tion of the peculiar energy which resides in the nerves 
has been found to be accompanied by a disturbance of 
the electrical state of their molecules. 

If we could exactly estimate the signification of this 
disturbance ; if we could obtain the value of a given 
lertion of nerve force by determining the quantity of 
icity, or of heat, of which it is the equivalent ; if 
could ascertain upon what arrangement, or other 
ition of the molecules of matter, the manifestation of 
nervous and muscular energies depends, (and doubt- 
science will some day or other aaceitain these points,) 
phywologiata would have attained their ultimate goal in 
ttis direction ; they would have determined the relation 
of the motive force of animals to the other forms of force 
t'uund in nature ; and if the same process had been suc- 
cessfully performed for all the operations which art.' 
carried on in, and by, the animal frame, physiology 
would be perfect, and the facts of morphology and 
distribution would be deducible from the laws which 
physiologists had established, combined with those deter- 
mining the condition of the surrounding univei'sc. 
There is not a fragment of the organism of this humble 
I, whose study would not lead ua into regions of 

124 Ljy HESHOA-S, JODRSSSES, ASD UHnEas. [vfl 

ecientific education bestows, whether as training or as 
knowledge, is dependent upon the extent to which the 
mind of the student is brought into immediate contact 
with facts — upon the degree to which he learns the 
habit of appealing directly to Nature, and of acquiring 
through his senses concrete images of those properties 
of things, which are, and always will be, but approxi- 
matively expressed in human language. Our way of 
looking at Nature, and of speaking about her, varies 
from year to year ; but a fact once seen, a relation of 
cause and effect, once demonstratively apprehended, are 
possessions which neither change nor pass away, but, 
on the contrary, form fixed centres, about which other 
truths aggregate by natural affinity. 

Therefore, the great business of the scientific teacher 
is, to imprint the fundamental, irrefragable facts of biS 
science, not only by words upon the mind, but fa« 
sensible impressions upon the eye, aud ear, and toacH 
of the student, in so complete a mauuer, that ev^f 
term used, or law enunciated, shoidd afterwards catf 
up vivid images of tlie particular structural, or other, 
facts which fiimished the demonstration of the law, or_ 
the illustration of the term. 

Now this important operation can only be achievi 
by constant demonstration, which may take place 
a certain imperfect extent during a lecture, but whic 
ought also to be cai'ried on independently, and whid 
should be addressed to each individual student, 
teacher endeavouring, not so much to show a thing 1 
the learner, as to make him see it for himself. 

I am well aware that there are great practical difiSa 
ties in the way of effectual zoological demonstratiod 


The dissection of auimals is not altogetlitT pleasant, 
and requires much time ; nor is it easy to secure an 
adequate supply of the needful specimens. The botanist 
has here a great advantage ; his apecimens are easily 
obtained, are clean and wholesome, and can be dissected 
in a private house as well as auj-where else ; and 
hence, I believe, the fact, that botany is so much 
more j-eadily and better taught than its sister science. 
But, be it difiicult or be it easy, if zoological science 
ia to be properly studied, demonstration, and, con- 
sequently, dissection, must be had. Without it, no 
man can have a really sound knowledge of animal 

A good deal may be done, however, without actual 
dissection on the student's part, by demonstration upon 
specimens and preparations ; and in all probability it 
would not be very difficult, were the demand sufficient, 
to organize collections of such objects, sufficient for all 
the purposes of elementary teafliing, at a comparatively 
cheap rate. Even without tliese, much might be effected, 
if tile zoological collections, which are o]»en to the 
public, were arranged according to what has been 
termed the " tj-pical principle;" that is to say, if the 
specimens exposed to public view were so selected, that 
the public could learn something from them, instead 
of being, as at present, merely confused by their mul- 
tiplicity. For example, the grand ornithological gallery 
at the British Museum contains between two and three 
thousand species of birds, and sometimes five or six 
specimens of a species. They are very pretty to look 
at, and some of the cases are, indeed, splendid ; but 
I will undertake to say, that no rann but a profeflsed. 



ornithologist has ever gathered much information fronl 
the collection. Certainly, no one of the tens of thousands 
of the general puhlic who have walked through that 
gallery ever knew more about the essential peculiarities 
of birds when he left the gallery, than when he entered 
it. But if. somewhere in that vast hall, there were a 
few preparations, exemplifying tlie leading structural 
pecuharities and the mode of development of a commoi 
fowl ; if the types of the genera, the lending m< 
cations in the skeleton, in the plumage at various aj 
iu the mode of nidification, and the like, among birds, 
were displayed; and if the other specimens were put 
away in a place where the men of seienco, to whom 
they are alone useful, could have free acces.s to thi 
I ean conceive that this collection might liecome 
great instrument of scientific education. 

The last implement of the teacher to which I ha' 
adverted is examination— a means of education now so" 
thoroughly undcratood that I need hardly enlarge upon 
it. I hold that both written and oral examinations 
are indispensable, and, by requiring the description 
of specimens, they may be made to supplement 

Such is the fullest reply the time at my disj 
will allow me to give to the question — how may a knoi 
ledge of zoology be best acquired and communicated ? 

But there is a previous question which may be movi 
and which, in fact, I know many are inclined to mo' 
It is the question, why should training masters 
encouraged to acquire a knowledge of this, or any otl 
branch of physical science ? >Vhat is the use, it is saw 
of attempting to make physical science a branch 

lom I 



primary education ? It is not probalile that teachers, 
in pursuing such studies, will be led aatraj- from the 
acquirement of more important but less attractive 
knowledge \ And, even if they can learn something 
of scii^-nco without prejudice to their usefulness, what 
is the good of their attempting to instil that knowledge 
into boys whose real business ia the acquisition of 
rending, writing, and arithmetic ? 

These questions are, and will be, very oommonly 
asked, for they arise from that profound ignorance of 
the value and true position of physical science, which 
infests the minds of the most highly educated and 
intcltigont classes of the community. But if I did not 
feel well assured that they are capable of being easily 
and satisfactorily answered ; that they have been an- 
swered over and over again ; and that the time will 
come when men' of liberal education will blush to raise 
such questions, — I should be ashamed of my position 
here to-nigbt. Without doubt, it is your great and very 
important function to carry out elemeiitar}' education ; 
without question, anything that should int^*rfe^e with 
the faithful fulfilment of that duty on your part would 
lie a gi'cat evil : and if I thought that yoiu- acquirement 
of the elements of physical science, and your communi- 
cation of those elements to your pupils, involved any 
i>rt of interference with your proper duties, I should 
iic the first pei-son to protest against your being en- 
couraged to do anj"thing of the kind. 

But is it true that the acquisition of such a know- 
ledge of science as is proposed, and the communication 
of that knowledge, are calculated to weaken your use- 
fulness ? Or may T not rather ask, is it possible for 


you to discharge your functions properly without thei 

AVhat is the purpose of primary intellectual educi 
tion ? I apprehend that its first object is to train tlM 
young in the use of those tools wherewith men extn 
knowledge from the ever-shifting succession of pheno 
mena wliich pass before their eyes ; and that its seconi 
object is to inform them of the fundamental laws whid 
have been found by experience to govern the course ( 
things, so that they may not be turned out into tli 
world naked, defenceless, and a prey to the events th«] 
might control. 

A boy is taught to read his own and other language 
in order that he may have access to infinitely wide 
stores of knowledge than could ever be opened to hir 
by oral intercourse with his fellow men ; he leai-na 1 
write, that his means of communication with the rest o 
mankijid may be indefinitely enlarged, and that he mftj 
record and store up the knowledge he acquires. Hi 
is taught elementary mathematics, that he may underi 
stand all those relations of number and form, upoi 
which the transactions of men, associated in complicate 
societies, are built, and that he may have some practice 
in deductive reasoning. 

All these operations of reading, writing, and ciphering 
are intellectual tools, whose use should, before all things 
be learned, and leai'ued tlioroughly ; bo that the youtl 
may be enabled to make his life that which it ought t 
be, a continual progress in learning and in wisdom. 

But, in addition, primary education endeavoui-s to fil 
a boy out with a certain equipment of positive knoW' 
ledge. He is taught the great laws of morality' ; tb 




digion of his sect ; so much history and geography as 
i-wiU tell hira where the great countries of the world 
what they are, and how they have become what 
liey are. 

Without doubt all these are most fitting and cx- 
^Uent things to teach a boy ; I should lie very sorry 
I omit any of them from any sclieme of primary in- 
Ucctual education. The system is excellent, so far as 

But if I regaixl it closely, a curious reflection arises. 

T suppose that, fifteen hundred years ago, the eliild of 

any well-to-do Roman citizen was taught just these 

same things ; reading and writing in his own, and, per- 

■haps, the Greek tongue ; the elements of mathematics ; 

Band the religion, morality, hlstorj', and geography cur- 

■vent in his time. Furthermore, I do not think I err 

K|& affirming, that, if such a Christian Roman boy, who 

Uiad finished his education, could be transplanted into 

lone of our public schools, and pass through its course of 

■instruction, he would not meet with a single unfamiliar 

Kne of thought ; amidst all the new facts be would 

Have to learn, not one would suggest a different mode 

KKf regarding the universe from that current in his 

Kown time, 

L And yet surely there is some great difference between 
Hbe civilization of the fourth century and that of the 
niineteeuth, and still mora between the intellectual habits 
Bod tone of thought of that day and this ? 
H And what has made this difference ? I answer fear- 
HeBsly, — The prodigious development of physical science 
Hnthin the last two centuries. 
^ Modem civilization rests upon physical science; take 




away her gifts to our own country, and our position 
among the leading nations of the world is gone to* 
morrow ; for it is physical science only, that makes 
intelligence and moral energy stronger than brute force. 

The whole of modern thought is steeped in science ; 
has made its way into the works of our Ijest poets, and 
even the mere man of letters, who afifects to ignore and 
despise science, is unconsciously impregnated with her 
spirit, and indebted for his best products to her methods. 
I believe that the greatest intellectual revolution man- 
kind has yet seen is now slowly taking place by her 
agency. She is teaching the world that the ultimata 
court of appeal is oliservation and exjTeriment, and nofe 
authority ; she is teaching it to estimate the value of 
evidence ; she is creating a finn and living faith in the 
existence of immutable moral and physical laws, perfect 
oljedience to which is the highest possible aim of i 
intelligent being. 

But of all this your old stereotyped system of edueaf 
tion takes no note. Physical science, its methods, its 
problems, and its difficulties, will meet the poorest boys 
at every turn, and yet we educate him in such a manna 
that he shall enter the world as ignorant of the existence 
of the methods and facts of science as the day he ■^ 
bom. The modem world is full of artillery ; and i 
turn out our children to do battle in it, equipped witli 
the shield and sword of an ancient gladiator. 

Posterity will cry shame on us if we do not remedy 
this deplorable state of things. Nay, if we live twenty 
years longer, our own consciences will cry shame on uft 

It is my firm conviction that the only way to remedy 
it is, to make the elements of physical science an integral 


part of primary education. I have endeavoured to show 
you how that may be done for that branch of science 
which it is my business to pursue ; and I can but add, 
that I shouhl look upon the day when every school- 
master throughout this land was a centre of genuine, 
however rudimentary, scientific knowledge, as an epoch 
in the hiatorj' of the countrj-. 

But let me entreat you to remember myjast words. 
Addressing myself to you, as teachers, I would say, mere 
book learning in physical science is a sham and a 
delusion — what you teachj unless you wish to be impos- 
tors, that you must first know ; and real knowledge in 
science means personal acquaintance with the facts, be 
they few or many.' 

' It has Wu suggested to uie that these words rany be taken to imply 
ft diicour-iyemeot on my part of any sort of scientific inatniotion whicli 
does not give on acqnitintiince with the fitcta at first hand. But this is 
not my meimiiig. The ideal of scientific teaching is, no doubt, a system 
hj which the scholar sees every fact for bimself, and the tcncher supplies 
only the explanations. Circumstances, however, do not often allow of the 
•tUinmeut of that ideal, sod we must put up with the next best system— 
uae in which the scholar takes a good deal on tnist from a teiicher, who. 
knowing the facts by his own knowledge, can describe them with so much 
rtridness ns to enable his audience to fonn competent ideas conccniing 
llwm. The system which I repudiate is that which allows teucbers who 
have not come into direct contact with the leading facts of a science to pass 
their iieoond-hand information on. The scientific Tims, like vaccine lymph, 
if passed through too long a succession of organisms, will lose all its effect 
in protectmg the young ngiimat the intellectual epidemics to which they nre 




In order to make the title of this discourse generally 
intelligible, I have translated the term " Protoplasm/' 
which is the scientiiBc name of the substance of which I 
am about to speak, by the words " the physical basis of 
life/' I suppose that, to many, the idea that there is 
such a thing as a physical basis, or matter, of life may 
be novel — ^so widely spread is the conception of life as a 
something which works through matter, but is independent 
of it; and even those who are aware that matter and 
life are inseparably connected, may not be prepared for 
the conclusion plainly suggested by the phrase, ^^ the 
physical basis or matter of life," that there is some one 

^ The substance of this paper was contained in a discourse which was 
delivered in Edinburgh on the evening of Sunday, the dth of Noyember, 
1868 — being the first of a series of Sunday evening addresses upon non- 
theological topics, instituted by the Rev. J. Cranbrook. Some phrases, which 
could possess only a transitory and local interest, have been omitted ; 
instead of the newspaper report of the Archbishop of York's address, his 
Grace's subsequently-published pamphlet *' On tho^ Limits of Philosophical 
Inquiry ** is quoted ; and I have, here and there, e^ideavoured to express my 
meaning more fully and clearly than I seem to ha^ done in speaking — if I 
may judge by sundry criticisms upon what I am su|^K)6ed to have said, which 
have appeared. But in substance, and, so far as my recollection serves, in 
form, what is here written corresponds with what was there said. 


kind of matter which is common to all living beings, 
and that their endless diversities are bound together by 
a physical, as well as an ideal, unity. In fact, when first 
apprehended, such a doctrine as this appears almost 
shocking to common sense. 

What, truly, can seem to be more obviously different 
irom one another in faculty, in form, and in substance, 

I than the various kinda of living beings ? What community 
of faculty can there be between the brightly-coloured 
lichen, which so nearly resembles a mere mineral in- 
crustation of the bare rock on which it grows, and the 
painter, to whom it is instinct with beauty, or the 
botanist, whom it feeds with knowledge ? 
Again, think of the microscopic fungus — a mere infi- 
uitesimal ovoid particle, which finds space and duration 
enough to multiply into countless millions in the body 
of a living fly ; and then of the wealth of foliage, the 
luxuriance of flower and fruit, which lies between this 
bald sketch of a plant and the giant pine of California, 

» towering to the dimensions of a cathedral spire, or the 
Indian fig, which covers acres with its profound shadow, 
BUd endures while nations and empires come and go 
wound its vast circumference ? Or, turning to the other 
half of the world of life, picture to yourselves the great 
Finner whale, hugest of beasts that live, or have lived, 
disporting his eighty or ninety feet of bone, muscle, and 
blubber, with easy roll, among waves in wliich the 
^Hstoutest ship that ever left dockyard would founder 
Wqiopelessly ; and contrast him with the invisible animal- 
cules — mere gelatinous specks, multitudes of which could, 
in fact, dance upon the point of a needle M'ith the same 
; as the angels of the Schoolmen could, in imagination. 

^—ease s 


Witli these images before your uiiuds, you may well ask, 
what community of form, or structure, is there betweeu 
the auiinaleule and the whale ; or between the fungua and 
the fig-tree ? And, A fortiori, between all four ? 

Finally, if we regard substance, or material composi- 
tion, what bidden bond can connect the flower which a 
girl wears in her hair and the blood which com-ses 
through her youtliful veins; or, what is there in common 
between the dense and reaifiting mass of the oak, or tha 
stixiDg fabric of the tortoise, and those broad disks of 
glassy jelly which may be seeu pulsating through the 
waters of a calm sea, but which drain away to mere films 
in the band which raises them out of their element 1 

Such objections as these must, I think, arise in the 
mind of every one who ponders, for the first time, upon 
the conception of a single physical basis of life undeiw 
lying all the diversities of vital existence ; but I propoa* 
to demonstrate to you that, notwithstantUng those 
apparent difficulties, a threefold unity — namely, a unity 
of power, or faculty, a unity of form, and a unity i 
substantial composition — does pei'\'ado the whole living 

No very abstruse argumentation is needed, in the firalj 
place, to prove that the powers, or faculties, of all kindi 
of living matter, diverse as they may be in degree, 
substantially similar in kind. 

Goethe has condensed a survey of all the powers < 

mankind into the well-known epigram : — 

" Wanim treibt aich das Volk w uiid Khreil i Es will sich emahren 
Kinder zeugcn, uiid die niihrcD so gut ea vennag. 

Weiter bringt ea kein Mensch, stell' er sich wie er auch wilL" 



In physiological language this means, that all the 
multifarious anil complicated activities of man are 
comprehensible under three categories. Either they arc 
immediately directed towai'ds the maintenance and deve- 
lopment of the body, or they effect transitory changes 
in the relative positions of parts of the body, or they tend 
towards the continuance of the species. Even those mani- 
festations of intellect, of feeling, and of will, which we 
rightly name the liigher faculties, are not excluded from 
this classification, inasmuch as to every one but the subject 
of them, they are known only a3 transitory changes in 
the relative positions of parts of the body. Speech, 
gpstuie, and every other form of human action are, in 
the long run, resolvable into muscular contraction, and 
muscular contraction is but a transitory change in the 
B relative positions of the parts of a muscle. But the 
^K. scheme which is large enough to embrace the activities 
^Hof the highest form of life, covers all those of the lower 
^Rcreatures. The lowest plant, or animalcule, feeds, grows, 
^^ ami reproduces its kind. In addition, all animals manifest 
those transitory changes of form which we class under 
irritability and contractility ; and, it is more than 

» probable, that when the vegetable world is thoroughly 
explored, we shall find all plants in possession of the 
same powers, at one time or other of their e-xiateuce. 

I am not now aUuding to such phaenomena, at once 
rare and conspicuous, as those exhibited by the leaflet* 
of the sensitive plant, or the stamens of the barberry, 
but to much more widely-spread, and, at the same time, 
■more subtle and hidden, miuiifeatatious of vegetabk' 
jcoutrnctility, You are doubtless awai-e that the common 
lettle owes its stinging property to the innumerable stifl' 




and needle-like, tbough exqiiieitely delicate, haire which 
cover its surface. Each stinging-needle tapers from a 
broad base to a slender summit, which, though rounded 
at the end, is of such microscopic fincDess that it readily 
penetrates, and breaks off in, the skin. The whole hair 
consists of a very delicate outer case of wood, closely 
applied to the inner surface of which is a layer of semi- 
fluid matter, full of innumerable granules of extreme 
minutenea^. This semi-fluid lining is protoplasm, which 
thus constitutes a kind of bag, full of a limpid liquid^ 
and roughly corresponding in form with the interior of 
the hair which it fills. When viewed with a sufficiently 
high magnifying power, the protoplasmic layer of the 
nettle hair is seen to be in a condition of unceasing 
activity. Local contractions of the whole thickness of 
its substance pass slowly and gradually from point to 
point, and give rise to the appearance of progressive 
waves, just as the bending of successive stalks of com by 
a breeze produces the apparent billows of a corn-field. 

But, in addition to these movements, and independently 
of them, the granules are di'iven, in relatively rapid' 
streams, through channels in the protoplasm which seem 
to have a considerable amount of persistence. Moat 
commonly, the currents in adjacent pai-ts of the proto- 
plasm take similar directions ; and, thus, there is a 
general stream up one side of the hair and down the 
other. But this does not prevent the existence of partial 
currents which take difierent routes ; and, somelimea, 
trains of granules may be seen coursing swiftly in 
opposite directions, within a twenty-thousandth of an 
inch of one another; while, occasionally, o]jposite streams 
^Kime into direct collision, and, after a longer or shortw 



struggle, one predominates. The cause of these currents 
seems to lie in contractions of the protoplasm which 
bounds the channela in which they How, but which are 
so minute that the best microscopes show only their 
effects, and not themselves. 

The spectacle aflbrded by the wonderful energies 
isoned within the compass of the microscopic hair 
■of a plant, which we commonly regaid as a merely 
passive organism, is not easily forgotten by one who has 
watched its display, continued hour after hour, without 
pause or sign of weakening. The possible complexity 
of many other organic fonns, seemingly as simple as 
the protoplasm of the nettle, dawns upon one ; and the 
comparison of such a protoplasm to a body with an 
internal circulation, which has been put forward by an 
eminent physiologist, loses much of its startling character. 
Currents similar to those of the hairs of the nettle have 
been observed in a great multitude of very different 
plants, and weighty authorities have suggested that they 
probably occur, in more or less perfection, in all young 
vegetable cells. If such be the ease, the wonderful 
noonday silence of a tropical forest is, after all, due only 
dlfi the dulness of our hearing ; and could our ears catch 
nSie murmur of these tiny Maelsb-oms, as they whirl in 
tbe innumerable myriads of living cells which constitute 
each tree, we should be stunned, as with the roai- of 
a great city. 

Among the lower plants, it is tlie rule rather than the 

iception, that contractility should be still more openly 

manifested at some periods of their existence. The 

protoplasm of Algce and Fungi becomes, under many 

umstances, partially, or completely, freed from its 


1 38 Ur SEMMOJfS. JDDiSSSE^ ^VB SErjOTS. [n 

woody case, and exhibite morements of its whole m; 
or is propelled bj the coutmctility of one, or more, hair- 
like prolongations of its body, which an- called ■vibmtilc 
cilia. And, so fai* as the conditions of the maoifestatio 
of the phsenomena of contractility have yet been studia 
they are the same for the plant as for the animal Hci 
and electric shocks influeucu both, and in the same wa] 
though it may be in different degrees. It is by no meai 
my intention to suggest that there is no difference l 
faculty between the lowest plant and the highest, c 
between plants and animals. Hut the difference betwee 
the powers of the lowest plant, or animal, and those o 
the highest, is one of degree, not of kind, and depend^' 
as llilne-Edwards long ago so well pointed out, upon 
the extent to which the princij)le of the division 
labour is carried out iu the Uviug economy. In t 
lowest organism all parts are competent to perform i 
functions, and one and the same portion of prol 
plasm may successively take on the function of feedi 
moving, or reproducing apparatus. In the highest, 
the contrary, a great number of paits combine to pe 
form each function, each part doing its allotted share i 
the work with great accuracy and efficiency, but beir 
useless for any other purpose. 

On the other hand, notwithstanding all the fundi 
mental resemblances wliich exist between the powers i 
tlie protoplasm in plants and in animids, they prcf 
a striking difference (to which I shall advert more 
length presently), in the fact that plants can manufacti 
fresh protoplasm out of mineral compounds, whei 
animals are obliged to procure it ready made, and henci 
I the long run, depend upon plants. Upon what cott 


II.) ON TUE pai'SlCAh BASIS OF Lift:. 139 

ditioii this difference in the powers of tlie two great 
divisiona of tlie world of life depends, nothing is at 
present known. 

i With 8uch qualification as arises out of the last- 
toentiont'd fact, it may be truly said that the acts of all 
living things are fundamentally one. Is any such unity 
predicable of their forma ? Let us seek in easily verified 
facts for a reply to this question. If a drop of blood ]je 
drawn by pricking one's finger, and viewed with proper 
precautions and under a aufficiently high microscopic 
power, there will be seen, among the innumerable mid- 
titude of little, circular, diaeoidal bodies, or coi-puscles, 
which float in it and give it its colour, a comparatively 
small number of coloui'less corpuscles, of somewhat 
larger size and very in'egular shape. If the drop of 
blood be kept at the temperature of the body, these 
colourless corpuscles will be seen to exhibit a marvellous 
activity, changing their forms with great rapidity, 
drawing in and thrusting out prolongations of their 
substance, and creeping about as if they were indepen- 
dent organisms. 

The substance wliicli is thus active is a mass of pro- 
toplasm, and its activity difiers in detail, rather than in 
principle, from that of the protoplasm of the nettle. 
Under sundry circumstances the corpuscle dies and 
becomes distended into a round mass, iu the midst of 
which is seen a smaller spherical body, which existed, 
it was more or less hidden, in the living corpuscle, and 
called its nucletus. Corpuscles of essentially similar 
structure are to be found in the skin, in the lining of the 
mouth, and scattered through the whole framework of 
body. Nay, more ; iu the earliest condition of the 




human organiem, in that state in which it has but 
become distinguishable from the egg in which it ai 
it is nothing but an aggregation of such corpuscles, 
every organ of the body was, once, no more than such 
an aggregation. 

Thus a nucleated mass of protoplasm turns out to be 
what may be termed the structural unit of the human 
body. As a matter of fact, the body, in its earliest stat€, 
is a mere multiple of such units ; and, in its perfect con- 
dition, it is a multiple of such units, variously modified. 

But does the formula which expresses the essential 
structural character of the highest animal cover all the 
rest, as the statement of its powers and faculties covcrecjl 
that of all others ? Very nearly. Beast and fowl^l 
reptile and fish, moUusk, worm, and polype, are all com- 
posed of structural units of the same character, namely, 
masses of protoplasm with a. nucleus. There are sundry 
very low animals, each of which, structurally, is a mere 
colourless blood-corpuscle, leading an independent life. 
But, at the very bottom of the animal scale, even this 
simplicity becomes simplified, and all the phsenomena 
life are manifested by a particle of protoplasm without 
nucleus. Nor are such organisms insignificant by rei 
of their want of complexity. It is a fair questit 
whether the protoplasm of those simplest forms of lil 
which people an immense extent of the bottom of tl 
sea, would not outweigh that of all the higher livii 
beings which inhabit the land put together. And 
ancient times, no lees than at the present day, sui 
living beings as these have been the greatest of 

What has been said of the animal world is no less ti 



of plants. Imbedded iu the protoplasm at the broad, or 
attached, end of the nettle hair, there lies a spheroidal 
nucleus. Cai-eful examination further proves that the 
whole substance of the nettle is made up of a repetition 
of such masses of nucleated protoplasm, each contained 
in a wooden case, wliich is modified in form, aometiraea 
into a woody fibre, sometimes into a duct or spiral vessel, 
sometimes into a pollen grain, or an ovul& Traced back 
to its earliest state, the nettle arises as the man does, in 
a particle of nucleated protoplasm. And in the lowest 
plants, as in the lowest animals, a single mass of such 
protoplasm may constitute the whole plant, or the proto- 
plasm may exist without a nucleus. 

Under these circumstances it may well be asked, how 
is one mass of non-nucleated protoplasm to be distin- 
guished from another ? why call one " plant " and the 
other " animal" 1 

The only reply is that, so far as form is concerned, 
plants and animals are not separable, and that, in many 
cases, it is a mere matter of convention whether we call 
a given organism an animal or a plant There is a living 
body called jEthalium, septicitm, which appears upon 
decaying vegetable substances, and, iu one of its forms, is 
common iipon the surfaces of tan-pits. In this condition 
it is, to all intents and purposes, a fungus, and formerly 
was always regarded as such ; but the remarkable in- 
vestigations of De Bary have shown that, in another 
condition, the yEfhalium is an actively locomotive crea- 
ture, and takes in solid matters, upon which, apparently, 
it feeds, thus exhibiting the most characteristic feature 
of animality. Is this a plant; or is it an animal ? Is 
it both ; or is it neither ? Some decide in favour of the 




last supposition, and establish an inttfrmediate kingdomij 
a sort of biological No Man's Land for all these qua 
tionablc fonns. But, as it is admittedly impossible t 
draw any distinct boundary line between this no mani 
land and the vegetable world on the one hand, or th< 
animal, on the other, it appears to me that this pre 
needing merely doubles the diflSculty which, before, wl 

Protoplasm, simple or nucleated, is the fonnal basis o 
all life. It is the elay of the potter : which, bake it am 
paint it as he will, remains clay, separated by artifici 
iind not by nature, from the commonest brick or ! 
dried clod. 

Thus it becomes clear that all living ^wwera aro 
cognate, and that all Uving forms are fundamentally a§ 
one character. The researches of the chemist havi 
'■evealed a no less striking uniformity' of material com 
position in living matter. 

In perfect strictness, it is true that chemical invei 
figation can tell us little or nothing, directly, of tk 
■ompoaition of living matter, inasmuch as such matt 
iimst needs die in the act of analysis, — and upon thil 
very obvious ground, objections, which I confess seem i 
rnc to be somewhat frivolous, have been raised to thft 
'Irawing of any conclusions whatever respecting th< 
■ omposition of actually living matter, from that of thl 
lead matter of life, which alone is accessible to us. Bui 
'-lijectors of this class do not seem to reflect that it ii 
i.lso, in strictness, true that we know nothing about the 
' omposition of any body whatever, as it is. The state- 
ment that a crystal of calc-spar consists of carbonate of 
lime, is quite true, if we only mean that, by appropriate 


processes, it may be resolved into carbonic aciil and 
quicklime. If you pass the same carbonic acid over the 
very quicklime thus obtained, you will obtain carboniite 
of lime again ; but it will not Ije calc-spsir, nor anything 
like it. Can it, therefore, be said that chemical analysi-t 
teaches nothing about the chemical composition of calc- 
sjKir ? Such a statement would be absurd ; but it is 
liardly more so than the talk one occasionally hears 
alwut the uselessness of applying tlie results of chemical 
analysis to the living bodies which have yielded them. 

One fact, at any rate, is out of reach of sucli refine- 
ments, and this is, that all the forms of protoplasm 
which have yet been examined contain the four elements, 
rarlK)n, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen, in very complex 
union, and that they behave similarly towards several 
reagents. To this complex combination, the nature of 
which has never been determined with exactness, tlie 
-name of Protein has been applied. And if we use tins 
1 with such caution as may properly arise out of our 

nparative ignoi-ance of the things for which it stands, 
r be truly said, that all protoplasm is proteinaceous ; 

, OS the white, or albumen, of an egg ia one of the 
I'ommonGSt examples of a nearly pure proteine matter, 
■ve may say that all living matter is more or leas 

Perhaps it would not yet be safe to say that all forms 
..f protoplasm are affected by the direct action of electric 
-hocks; and yet the number of cases in which the 
■ ■^iitraction of protoplasm is shown to be effected by this 
.igency increases every day. 

Nor can it be jiffinned with perfect confidence, that all 
forms of protopla-sm are liable to undergo that peculiar 




ilatioa at a temperature of 40°— 30° centigrade 
which has been called "heat-stiffening," though Kiihne'i 
beautiful researches have proved this occurrence to takf 
place in so many and such diverse living beings, that I 
is hardly rash to expect that the law holds good for alL 

Enough has, perhaps, been said to prove the existem 
of a general uniformity in the character of the protd 
plasm, or pliysical basis, of life, in whatever group i 
living lieings it may be studied. But it will be undat 
stood that this general uniformity by no means exclude 
any amount of special modifications of the fundamental 
substaiicc. The mineral, carbonate of lime, assumes an 
immense diversity of characters, though no one doubtifi 
that, under all these Protean changes, it is one and th^ 
same thing. 

And now, what is the ultimate fate, and what tha 
origin, of the matter of life ? 

Is it, as some of the older naturalists suppose* 
diffused throughout the universe in molecules, which ai 
indestructible and unchangeable in themselves ; but, i 
endless transmigration, unite in innumerable permU 
tations, into the diversified forms of life we know ? 
is the matter of lite composed of ordinary matter,. 
differing from it only in the manner in which its atoms 
are aggregated ? Is it built up of ordinary matter, and 
again resolved into ordinary matter when its work i 
done ? 

Modem science does not hesitate a moment betwee 
these alternatives. Physiology writes over the portals c 

"Debemur morti nos nostiaque," 


with a profounder meaning than the Roman poet attached 
to that melancholy line. Under whatever disguise it 
takes refuge, whether fungus or oak, worm or man, the 
liviug protoplasm not only ultimately dies and is resolved 
into its mineral and lifeless constituents, but is always 
dying, and, strange as the paradox may sound, could not 
f iive unless it died. 

In the wonderful story of the " Peau de Chagrin," 

■lihe hero becomes possessed of a magical wild ass' skin, 

which yields him the means of gratifying all his wishes. 

lut its surface represents the duration of the proprietor's 

and for every satisfied desire the skin shrinks in 

•|Hroportion to the intensity of fruition, until at length 

PUfe and the last handbreadth of the peau de chagrin 

disappear with the gratification of a last wish. 

Balzac's studies had led him over a wide range of 
thought and speculation, and his shadowing forth of 
physiological truth in this strange story may have been 
intentional. At any rate, the matter of life is a veritable 
peau de chagrin, and for every vital act it is somewhat 
the smaller. All work implies waste, and the work of 
life resulta, directly or indirectly, in the waste of pro- 

Every word uttered by a speaker costs him some 
physical loss ; and, in the strictest sense, he bums that 
otherB may have light — so much eloquence, so much of 
his Ixxly resolved into carbonic acid, water, and urea. 
_Jt ia clear that this process of expenditure cannot go on 
Bibr ever. But happily, the protoplasmic peau de chagrin 
difiers from Balzac's in its capacity of being repaired, and 
brought back to its full size, after every exertion. 

For example, this present lecture, whatever its intel- 

ur SKSJiOxs, JDDBSssss, JXD BsriFrs. 


k'tituaJ wortii to yoa, has a certain physical value to me, 
wliich in, coaceivalily, expressible by the number of 
grains of protoplasm and other bodily substance wasted 
in maiutaining my vital processes during its delivery. 
My peau tie chagrin wUl be distinctly smaller at the end 
{(f tho discourse than it was at the beginning. By and 
by, I hhall probably have recourse to the substance com- 
uiouly calletl mutton, for the puriwse of stretching it 
Imck to its original size. Now this mutton was once 
llin livitig protoplasm, more or less modified, of another 
(iiiinial — H Mhocp. As I shall eat it, it is the same matter 
(illort'd. not only by death, but by exposure to sundry 
iirlitlt-iiil opcriitioiis in the process of cooking. 

Hut tbc*e changes, whatever be their extent, have not 
ri'iiditivd it incompetent to resume its old functions i 
iHfttU'V of lifo. A singular inward laboratory, which I 
jioiMciu, will disflolve a certain portion of the modified 
pitttiipliiHui ; tli« solution so formed will pass into my 
voiiiH ; and tbo subtle influences to which it will then be 
iiubjtH'tetl will couvert the dead protoplasm into living; 
protoploBm, nnd transubstantiate sheep into man. 

Nor is this all If digestion were a thing to be trifled 
witli, 1 might KUp upon lobster, and the matter of life of 
thi' trustftotsui would undergo the same wonderful meta- 
Hiurphiwis into humanity. And were I to return to ray 
own i>l«c«> by sua, and undergo shipwreck, the Crustacea 
uiijslit, and proliably would, return the compliment, and 
domoiiiitratc our common nature by turning mj- proto- 
lilaam into living lolister. Or, if nothing better were t 
W had, I might supply my wants with men? bread, au4 
1 should find tho protoplasm of the wheat-plant to 1 
cuKvertible into man, with no more trouble than 





L of the aheep, and with far less, I fancy, thau tlmt of 
I the lobster. 

Heuce it appears to be a matter of no great moment 

■what animal, or what i)lant, I lay under contribution for 

protoplasm, and the fact speaks volumes for the general 

identity of that substance in all li^dng beings. I share 

this catholicity of assimilation with other animals, all of 

which, so far as we know, could thrive equally well ou 

I the protoplasm of any of their fellows, or of any plant ; 

\ but here the assimilative powers of the animal world 

A solution of smelling-salts in water, Trith au 

I infinitesimal proportion of some other saline matters, 

contains all the elementary bodies which enter into the 

composition of protoplasm ; but, as I need hardly say, a 

hogshead of that fluid would not keep a hungry man from 

Ba.frtBrving, nor would it save any animal whatever from a 

H[3ike^te. An animal cannot make protoplasm, but must 

^■teke it ready-made from some other animal, or some 

^B plant — the animal's highest feat of constructive chemistry 

^■jteing \o convert dead protoplasm into that living matter 

^Blf life which is appropriate to itself. 

^V Therefore, in seeking for the origin of protoplasm, we 

must eventually turn to the vegetable w-orld. The fluid 

containing carbonic acid, water, and ammonia, which 

offers such a Barmecide feast to the animal, is a table 

richly spread to multitudes of plants ; and, with a due 

supply of only such materials, many a plant will not only 

maintain itself in vigour, \mi grow and multiply, until it 

has increased a million-fold, or a million million-fold, the 

quantity of protoplasm which it originally possessed ; in 

this way building up the matter of life, to on indefinite 

eytent, fioni the common matter of the univcrae. 

L 2 


Thus, the auimal caa ou\y raise tbe eomplex sub- 
Btance of dead protoplasm to the higher power, as one 
may say, of living protoplasm ; while the plant can raise 
the less complex substances- — carbonic acid, water, and 
ammonia — to the same stage of living protoplasm, if not 
to the same level. But the plant also has its limitations. 
Some of the fungi, for example, appear to need higher 
compounds to start with ; and no known plant can live 
upon the uncompounded elements of protoplasm. A 
plant supplied with pure carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, 
and nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur, and thu like, would 
as infallibly die as the animal in his bath of smelling- 
salts, though it would be surrounded by all the consti- 
tuents of protopliism. Nor, indeed, need the process of 
eimplifieation of vegetable food be carried so far as this, 
in order to arrive at the limit of the plant's thaumaturgy. 
Let water, carbonic acid, and all the other needful con- 
stituents be supplied with ammonia, and an ordinary 
plant will still be unable to manufacture protoplasm. 

Thus tbe matter of life, so far as we know it (and we 
have no right to speculate on any other), breaks up, in 
consequence of that continual death which is the con- 
dition of its manifesting vitality, into carbonic acid, 
water, and ammonia, which certainly possess no proper- 
ties but those of ordinary matter. And out of these same 
forma of ordinary matter, and from none which are sim- 
pler, the vegetable world builds up all the protoplasm which 
keeps the animal world a going. Plants are the accumu- 
lators of the power which animals distribute and disperse. 

But it will be observed, that the existence of the 
matter of life depends on the pre-existeuee of certain 
compounds ; namely, cai'bonic acid, water, and ammonia. 




Witlidraw any one of these three from the world and all 
vital phtenomena come to an end. They are related 
to the protoplasm of the plant, as the protoplasm of the 
plant is to that of the animal. Carbon, hydrogen, oxygen 
and nitrogen are all lifeless bodies. Of these, carbon 
and oxygen unite, in certain proportions and under 
certain conditions, to give rise to carbonic acid ; 
hydrogen and oxygen produce water ; nitrogen and 
hydrogen give riae to ammonia. These new compounds 
like the elementary bodies of which they are composed, 
lifeless. But when they are brought together, 
ider certain conditions they give rise to the still 
more com]ilex body, protoplasm, and this protoplasm 
exhibits the phcenomena of life. 

I see no break in this aeries of steps in molecular 
complication, and I am unable to understand why the 
language which is applicable to any one term of the 
iries may not be used to any of the others. Wc think 
it to call different kinds of matter carbon, oxygen, 
hydrogen, and nitrogen, and to speak of the various 
powers and activities of these substances as the pro- 
perties of the matter of which they arc composed. 

When hydrogen and oxygen are mixed in a certain 
proportion, and an electric spark is passed through them, 
they disappear, and a quantity of water, equal in weight 
to the sum of their weights, appears in their place. 
There is not the slightest parity between the passive and 
active powers of the water and those of the oxygen and 
hydrogen which have given rise to it. At 32° Fahrenheit, 
id far below that temperature, oxygen and hydrogen 
elastic gaseous bodies, whose particles tend to rush 
tway from one another with great force, Water, at the 

» JLITSaWZJ^ iMtHSfffX^ JXD METHWS, [vii. 

len pffljaJiHL ^ a ssna^ ikn^ Ixittle solid, whose 
fonkks iB»i ^ «obepe imo definite geometiical shapes, 
and BL>G)eiizD& Icdld mp fipostr imitaitioiis of the most 

NeTiertlfetJes& we aQ dieae, and many other strange 
plueiiameca. tite ptvpoties of die water; and we do not 
heaiale to bdieve that, in some way or anoth^, they 
nesnlt from die pKfwnitt oi die eomponait elements of 
die waxen We do nor asome diat a aomediing called 
*' aqooBity '^ ent«ed into and took possessioii of the oxide 
*if hydrogen as soon as it was formed, and then guided 
the aqueous particles to their places in the facets of the 
crystal, w amcoigst the leaflets of the hoar-firost On the 
oontraiy, we live in the h<^ and in the faith that, by 
the advance of molecalar physics^ we shall by and by be 
oUe to see our way as clearly from the constituents of 
water to the pioperties of water, as n'e are now able to 
deduce the operations of a watch firom the form of its 
parts and the manner in which they are put together. 

Is the case in any way changed when carbonic acid, 
water, and ammonia disappear, and in their place, under 
the influence of pre-existing living protoplasm, an 
equivalent weight of the matter of life makes its 
appearance ? 

It is true that there is no sort of parity between the 
properties of the components and the properties of the 
resultant, but neither was there in the case of the water. 
It is also true that what I have spoken of as the in- 
fluence of pre-existing living matter is something quite 
unintelligible ; but does anybody quite comprehend the 
modtis operandi of an electric spark, which traverses a 
mixture of oxygen and hydrogen ? 


What justification is there, then, for the assumption of 
ihe existence in the living matter of a something which 
liafl no representative, or correlative, in tlie not living 
matter which gave rise to it ? What better philosophical 
status has "vitality" than "aquosity"? And why 
shonld "vitality" hope for a better fate than the other 
■'itya" which have disappeared since Martinus Scriblerus 
|. ftecomifced for the operation of the meat-jack by its 
lierent "meat roasting quality," and scorned the 
" materialism" of those who explained the turning of the 
jit by a certain mechanism worked by the draught of 
chimney ? 
If scientific language ia to possess a definite and 
constant signification whenever it is employed, it seems 
to me that wc are logically bound to apply to the 
protoplasm, or physical basis of life, the same concep- 
tions as those which are held to be legitimate elsewhere'. 
If the phfenomena exhibited by water are its properties, 
so are those presented by protoplasm, living or dead, its 
u properties. 

^B If the properties of water may be "properly said to 

B^eeult from the nature and disposition of its component 

molecules, I can find no intelligible ground for refusing 

to say that the properties of protoplasm result from the 

nature and disposition of its molecides. 

But I bid you beware that, in accepting those conclu- 
sions, you are placing your feet on the first rung of a 
ladder which, in most people's estimation, is the reverse 
of Jacob's, and leads to the antipodes of heaven. It may 
^ seem a small thing to admit that the dull vital actions 
^■>of a fungus, or a fovamiuifer, are the properties of their 
^Kprotoplasm, and are the direct results of the nature of the 


matter of which they are composed. But if, as I have 
endeavoured to prove to you, their protoplasm is eBsen- 
tially identical with, and most readily converted into, 
that of any animal, I can discover no logical halting- 
place between the admission that such is the case, and 
the further concession that all vital action may, with 
equal propriety, be said to be the result of the molecular 
forces of the protoplasm which displays it. And if so, 
it must be true, in the same sense and to the same 
extent, that the thoughts to which I am now giving 
utterance, and your thoughts regarding them, are the 
expression of molecular changes in that matter of life 
which is the source of our other vital phsenomena. 

Past experience leads me to be tolerably eertam that, 
when the propositions I have just placed before you are 
accessible to public comment and criticism, they will be 
condemned by many zealous persons, and perhaps by 
some few of the wise and thoughtful. I should not 
wonder if " gross and brutal materialism " were the 
mildest phrase applied to them in certain quarters. 
And, most undoubtedly, the -terms of the propositions are 
distinctly materialistic. Nevertheless two things are 
certain : the one, that I hold the statements to be snb- 
Btantially true ; the other, that I, individually, am no 
materialist, but, on the contrary, believe materialism to 
involve grave philosophical error. 

This union of materiabstic terminology with the repu- 
diation of materialistic philosophy, I share with some of 
the most thoughtful men with whom I am acquainted. 
And, when I first undertook to deliver the present 
discourse, it appeared to me to be a fitting opportunity 


to explain how such a uuiuu is Dot only consistent with, 
but necessitated by, sound logic. I purposed to lead you 
through the territory of vital phEenomena to the material- 
istic slough in which you find yourselvea now plunged, 
and then to point out to you the sole path by which, in 
my judgment, extrication is possible. 

An occurrence of which I was unaware until my 
arrival here last night, renders this line of argument 
singularly opportune. I found in your papers the 
eloquent address " On the Limits of Philosophical 
Inquiry," which a distinguished prelate of the English 
Church delivered before the members of the Philoso- 
phical Institution ou the previous day. My ailment, 
also, turns upon this very point of the limits of philo- 
sophical inquiry ; and I cannot bring out my own views 
better than by contrasting them with those so plainly, and, 
in the main, fairly, stated by the Archbishop of York. 

But I may be permitted to make a preliminary com- 
ment upon an occurrence that greatly astonished me. 
Applying the name of " the New Philosophy " to that 
e8timat« of the limits of philosophical inquiry wliich I, 
in common with many other men of science, hold to be 
just, the Archbishop opens his address by identifying 
thi» " New Philosophy " with the Positive Philosophy of 
II M . Comte (of whom he speaks as its "founder") ; and 
Ihen proceeds to attack that philosopher and his doctrines 

Now, 80 far as I am concerned, the most reverend 

■elate might diiilecticaUy hew M, Comte in pieces, as a 

modem Agag, and I should not attempt to stay his 

hand. In so fai- as my study of what specially charac- 

I terises the Positive Philosophy has led me, I find therein 



little or uothing of any scientific value, and a great dea 
which ia as thoroughly antagonistic to the very essena 
of science as anything in ultramontane Catholicism. \\ 
fact, M. C'onite'a philosophy in practice might be COEtt 
pendioiisly described as Catholicism minus Christianity. 
But what has Comtism to do with the "New Philq 
sophy," as the Archbishop defines it in the followin] 
passage ? 

" Let mo Ijtiefly remind you of the leading principles of Ibis n« 

" All knowledge is experience of facts acquired by the senses. Tin 
traditions of older philoaopbies have obscuwl our experience by niixini 
ivith it much that the senses cannot observe, and until these additioni 
are diBcardcd our knowledge is impure. Thus mota[thysi(!« toll us tbi 
DUO fact irhich wo obRcrre is a cause, and another is the effect of thi 
cause; bat upon a rigid niialyais, we find that our sensen observi 
nothing of cause or effect : they observe, first, that one fact succeeda"^ 
another, and, after some opportunity, that this fact has never failed to 
follow — that fur cause atid efiect ve should substitute invariable suc- 
ceSRion. An older philosophy teaches ub to define an object by dit 
tingnishing its essential from its accidcntel qualities : but experiei 
knows nothing of essential and accidental ; she sees only that cei 
marks attach to an object, and, after many observntiona, that some 
them attach invariably, whilst others may at times be absent. 
As all knowledge ia relative, the notion of anything being net 
must bo banished with other traditions."' 

There is much here that expresses the spirit of 1 
" New Philosophy," if by that term be meant the spir 
of modern science ; but I cannot but marvel that tbf 
assembled wisdom and learning of Edinburgh should 
have uttered no sign of dissent, when Comte wad 
declared to bo the founder of these doctrines. No OM 
will accuse Scotchmen of habitually forgetting thai 
great countrymen ; but it was enough to make DaviJ 

' "The Limits of Philosophical Inquiry," pp. 4 and 5, 


Hume turn in his grave, thut hero, almost within car- 
shot of his house, an instructed audience should have 
listened, without a murmur, while his moat characteristic 
doctrines were attributetl to a French writer of fifty 
years later date, in whose dreary and verbose pages wc 
miss alike the vigour of thought and the exquisite clear- 
ness of style of the man whom I make bold to term the 
most acute thinker of the eighteenth century — even 
though that century produced Kant. 

But I did not come to Scotland to vindicate the 
honour of one of the greatest men she has ever produceil. 
My business is to point out to you that the only way of 
escape out of the crass materialism in which we just 
now landed, is the adoption and strict working-out of 
the very principles which the Archbishop holds up to 

■Xet us suppose that knowledge is absolute, and not 
relativci and therefore, that our conception of matter 
represents that which it really is. Let us suppose, 
further, that we do know more of cause and effect than 
a certain definite order of succession among facts, and 
that we have a knowledge of the necessity of that succes- 
sion — and hence, of necessary laws— and I, for my part, 
do not sec what escape there is from utter materialism 
and nocessarianism. For it is obvious that our know- 
ledge of what we call the material world, is, to begin 
with, at least as certain and definite as that of the 
spiritual world, and that our acquaintance with law is of 
as old a date as our knowledge of spontaueitj^ Further, 
I tJikc it to be demonstrable that it is utterly impossible 
to prove that anything whatever maj' not I>e the effect 
^^- a material and necessary cause, and that human logic 

^the ve 



Ljy SERUoys, addresses, and refiews. 


ia equally incompetent to prove that any act 
really spontaneous. A really spontaneous act is oi 
which, by the assumption, has no cause ; and the attemp 
to prove such a negative as this is, on the face of th) 
matter, absurd. And while it is thus a philosophicj 
impossibility to demonstrate that any given phsenomcnoi 
is not the effect of a material cause, any one who ; 
acquainted with the history of science will admit, ths 
its progress has, in all ages, meant, and now, more tlia 
ever, means, the extension of the pro\Tnce of what m 
call matter and causation, and the concomitant gradm 
banishment from all regions of human thought of whi 
we call spirit and spontaneity. 

I have endeavoured, in the first part of this discoiu 
to give you a conception of the direction towards whid 
modern physiology is tending ; and I ask you, what i 
the difference between the conception of life as 
product of a certain disposition of material moleculet 
and the old notion of an Archseus governing and ( 
recting blind matter within each living body, excep 
this — that here, as elsewhere, matter and law have di 
voured spirit and spontaneity ? And as surely as evei 
future grows out of past and present, so will the phy 
siology of the future gradually extend the realm o 
matter and law until it is co-extensive with knowledgf 
with feeling, and with action. 

The consciousness of this great truth weighs like 
nightmare, I believe, upon many of the best minds < 
these days. They watch what they conceive to be tl 
progress of materialism, in such fear and powerless ange( 
as ""^ feels, when, during an eclipse, the great 

ps over the face of the sun. The advancinj 

tide of matter threatens to drown their souls; the tight- 
ening graap of law impedes their freedom ; they are 
alarmed lest man's moral nature be debased by the 
increase of hia wisdom. 

If the " New PhUoaophy " be worthy of the repro- 
bation with which it ia visited, I eonfesa their fears aeem 
to me, to be well founded. While, on the contrary, 
could David Hume be consulted, I think he would smile 
;it their pcrplexitica, and chide them for doing even aa 
the heathen, and falling down in terror before the 
hideous idola their own hands have raised. 

For, after all, what do we know of this terrible 
" matter," except as a name for the unknown and hypo- 
thetical cause of states of our own consciousness ? And 
what do we know of that " spirit " over whose threatened 
extinction by matter a great lamentation is arising, like 
that which was heard at the death of Pan, except that 
it is alao a name for an unknown and hypothetical cause, 
or condition, of states of consciousness ? In other words, 
matter and spirit are but names for the imaginaiy sub- 
Rtotta of groups of natural phenomena. 
K And what is the dire necessity and " iron " law under 
^Hiich men groan ? Truly, moat gratuitously invented 
^Btgbears. I suppose if there be an " iron " law, it is 
^nat of gravitation ; and if there be a physical necessity, 
it ia that a atone, unsupported, must fall to the ground. 
But what ia all we really know and can know about the 
latter phfenomenon ? Simply, that, in all human ex- 
perience, stones have fallen to the ground under these 
conditions ; that we have not the smallest reason for 
believing that any atone so circumstanced will not faU 
Jp the ground ; and that we have, on the contrary, every. 

reason to believe that it will ao fall. It is very con- 
veaient to iDdicate that all the conditions of belief hxn 
been fulfilled in this case, by calling the statement thi 
uuBupported stones will fall to the ground, " a 
nature." But when, as commonly happens, we change 
toill into imist, we introduce an idea of uecessitj' whicll 
most aaeuredly docs not He in the observed facts, and 
has no wairauty that I can discover elsewhere. For my 
part, I utterly repudiate and anathematize the intruder. 
Fact I know ; and Law I know ; but what is this Ke*j 
cessity, save an empty shadow of my oftii mindj 
throwing ? 

But, if it is certain that we can have no knowki^ 
of the nature of either matter or spirit, and that tbe 
notion of necessity is something Ulogitimately thnu* 
into the perfectly legitimate conception of law, the. 
materialistic position that there is nothing in the worW 
but matter, force, and necessity, is as utterly devoid <rf 
justificatiou as the most baseless of theological dogma& 
The fundamental doctrines of materialism, like those ol 
spiritualism, and most other " isms," lie outside " th« 
limits of philosophical iuquiiy," and David Hume's great 
service to humanity is his irreti-agablc demonstration ol 
■what these limits are. Hume called himself a sceptic, 
and therefore othei-s cannot be blamed if they apply thu 
same title to him ; but that does not alter the fact th4 
the name, ^vith its existing implications, does him grod 

If a man asks me what the politics of the inhabitanD 
of the moon are, and I reply that I do not know ; tha 
neither I, nor any one else, have any means of knowing 
and that, under these circumstances, I decline to troutt 

myself about the subject at all, I do not think be has 

any right to call me a sceptic. On the contrary, in re- 

pljing thus, 1 conceive that I am simply honest and 

truthful, and show a proper regard for the economy of 

time. So Hume's strong and subtle intellect takes up 

a great many problems about which we are naturally 

curious, and shows us that they ai'e essentiall}' questions 

of lunar politics, in their essence incapable of being 

Bpsswered, and therefore not worth the attention of men 

^Bjtho have work to do in the world. And he thus ends 

^Epte of his essays: — 

^V " If we take in hand any volume of Divinity, or school metaphyBics, 
"for instance, let us ask, Does it contain anff abstract itastming concendivj 
quantity or tiumbtr t No. Does it contain any experimental reatoniny 
conetniing matter of /act and exittfnee i No. Commit it then to tlio 

IiUiues ; for it can contam nothing but sopliistry and illuaion."^ 
% Permit me to enforce this most wise advice. Why 
trouble ourselves about matters of which, however im- 
ixirtant they may be, we do know nothing, and can 
know nothing ? "We live in a world which is full of 
misery and ignorance, and the plain duty of each and 
all of us is to try to make the little corner he can in- 
fluence somewhat less miserable and somewliat leas 
ignorant than it was before he entered it. To do this 
effectually it is necessary to be fully possessed of only 
•o beliefs : the first, that the order of nature is aacer- 
lable by our faculties to an extent which is practically 
unlimited ; the second, that our volition counts for some- 
thing as a condition of the course of events. 

Each of these beliefs can be verified experimentally, 

' Hume's Easuy "Of tho Acndeniicai or Sceptical Philosophy," in the 
" Inquiry concerning the Human Undentanding." 

_ effee 


as often as we like to try. Each, therefore, stands upon 
the strongest foundation upon which any belief can rea^ 
and forms one of our highest trutlis. If we find that 
the ascertainment of the order of nature is facilitated 
by using one terminology, or one set of symbols, rath^ 
than another, it is our clear duty to use the fonner ; and. 
no harm can accrue, so long as we bear in mind, that wft 
are dealing merely with terms and symbols. 

In itself it is of little moment whether we expreas 
the phsenomena of matter in terms of spirit ; or the 
phasnomena of spirit, in terms of matter : matter may 
Ije regarded as a form of thought, thought may be re- 
garded as a property of matter — ^eaeh statement has 
certain rt^ative truth. But with a view to the progrean 
of science, the materialistic terminology is in every way 
to be preferred. For it connects thought with the other 
phaenomena of tlie universe, and suggests inquiry into 
the nature of those physical conditions, or concomitants, 
of thought, which are more or less accessible to us, and 
a knowledge of which may, in future, help us to exercisa 
the same kind of control over the world of thought, aA 
we already possess in respect of the material world ;, 
whereas, the alternative, or spiritualistic, terminology 
utterly barren, and leads to nothing but obscurity and 
confusion of ideas. 

Thus there can be little doubt, that the further science 
advances, the more extensively and consistently will all' 
the phjenoraeua of nature be represented by materialistia; 
formulie and symbols. 

But the man of science, who, forgetting tlie limits ofj 
philosophical inquiry, slides from these formulae and 
symbols into what i.8 commonly understood by mate- 


rialisin, seems to me to place himself on a level with 
the mathematician, who should mistake the a: s and ^s, 
with which he works his problems, for real entities — and 
with this farther disadvantage, as compared with the 
mathematician, that the blunders of the latter are of 
no practical consequence, while the errors of systematic 
materialism may paralyse the energies and destroy the 
beauty of a life. 



It is now some sixteen or seventeen years since I became 
acquainted with the "Philosophic Positive," the **Dis- 
cours sur TEnsemble du Positivisme/' and the ** Politique 
Positive " of Auguste Comte. I was led to study these 
works partly by the allusions to them in Mr. Mill's 
" Logic/' partly by the recommendation of a dis- 
tinguished theologian, and partly by the urgency of a 
valued friend, the late Professor Henfrey, who looked 
upon M. Comte's bulky volumes as a mine of wisdom, 
and lent them to me that I might dig and be rich. 
After due perusal, I found myself in a position to echo 
my friend's words, though I may have laid more stress 
on the "mine" than on the "wisdom." For I found 
the veins of ore few and far between, and the rock so 
apt to run to mud, that one incurred the risk of being 
intellectually smothered in the working. Still, as I 
was glad to acknowledge, 1 did come to a nugget here 
and there ; though not, so far as my experience went, 
in the discussions on the philosophy of the physical 
sciences, but in the chapters on speculative and practical 
sociology. In these there was indeed much to arouse 




tte livelieat interest in one whose boat bad broken away 
from the old moorings, and who had been content " to 
lay out an anchor by the stem" until daylight should 
Iweak and the fog clear. Nothing could be more inter- 
«Btmg to a student of biology than to see the study 
of the biological aeiences laid down, as an essential part 
of the prolegomena of a new view of social phsenomena. 
Nothing could be more satisfactory to a worshipper of 
severe truthfiilncss of science than the attempt to 
'dispense with all bcHefs, save such as could brave the 
light, and seek, rather than fear, criticism ; while, to a 
lover of courage and outspokenness, nothing could be 
■more touching than the placid announcement on the 
title-page of the " Discours aur I'Ensemble du Positi- 
visme," that its author proposed 

" E4orgftiu36r, sane Dieu ni roi, 
Par le culte ajstematique de I'lIuiDanit^," 

rthe shattered frame of modem society. 

In those days I knew my "Fauat" pretty well, and, 
reading this word of might, I was minded to 
f chant the well-known stanzas of the " Geisterchor " — 

"Weh! Well! 
Die Bcbijae welt. 
8ie Bttirzt, »it zerf allt 
"Wir trngen 

Die Triimmem ins Nichis hiniibev. 
Der Erdanaiiliiie, 
Baue sie wiedcr 
In dcincm Busen bauc aie auf." 

t Great, however, was my perplexity, not to say disap- 
lointment, as I followed the progress of this "mighty 


son of earth " in his work of reconatruction. Un- 
doubtedly " Dieu " disappeared, but the " Nouveau 
Grand-litre Supreme," a gigantic fetish, turned out bran- 
new by M, Comte's own hands, reigned in his stead. 
" Roi " also was not heard of ; but, in his place, I found 
a minutely-defined social organization, which, if it ever 
came into practice, would exert a despotic authority 
such as no sultan haa rivalled, and no Puritan presbytery^ 
in its palmiest days, could hope to excel. While, as iae 
the " enlte syat-^matique de I'Humanit^," I, in ray blind- 
ness, could not distiiiguish it from sheer Popery, i„.uh 
M. Comte in the chair of St. Peter, and the names oi 
most of the saints changed. To quote "Faust" again, 
I found myself saying with Gretchen, — 

" UngeKlir eagt daa der Pfarrer aucli 
Nut mit ein biachen andeni Worten." 

Rightly or wrongly, this was the impression which, all 
those years ago, the study of M. Gomte's works left oa 
my mind, combined with the conviction, which I shaU 
always be thankful to him for awakening in me, thaC 
the organization of society upon a new and purely 
scientific basis is not only practicable, but is the only 
political object much worth fighting for. 

As I have said, that part of M. Comte's writings 
which deals with the philosophy of physical science 
appeared to me to possess singularly little value, and 
to show that be had but the most superficial, and merely 
second-band, knowledge of most branches of what is 
usually understood by science. I do not mean by this 
merely to say that Comte was behind our present know- 
ledge, OF that he was unacquainted with the details i 


the scieuce of Ms own day. No one could justly make 

Buch defects cause of complaint in a philosophical writer 

of the past generation. What struck me was his want of 

apprehension of the great features of science ; bis strange 

mistakes as to the merits of his scientific contemporaries; 

and his ludicrously erroneous notions about the part which 

some of the scientific doctrines current in his time were 

destined to play in the future. With these impressions 

I in my mind, no one will be surprised if I acknowledge 

[ that, for these sixteen years, it has been a periodical 

I 8^. Ice of irritation to me to find M. Comte put forward 

I as a representative of scientific thought ; and to observe 

^ that writers whose philosophy had its legitimate parent 

in Hume, or in themselves, were labelled " Comtists " or 

" Positivists " by public writers, even in spite of vehe- 

I ment protests to the conti'ary. It has cost Mr. Mill 

I hard rubbings to get that label off ; and 1 watch Mr. 

Spencer, as one regards a good man struggling with 

adversity, still engaged in eluding its adhesiveness, and 

ready to tear away skin and all, rather than let it stick- 

■My own turn might come next ; and, therefore, when 

eminent prelate the other day gave currency and 

Authority to the popular confusion, 1 took an oppor- 

Btunity of incidentally revindicating Hume's property in 

; so-called " New Philosophy," and, at the same time, 

tof repudiating Coratism on my own behalf.' 

I lun glad to obfterve that Mr. Congreve, in the criticisui with which be 
■bus fsvonred me in the number of the Forlaighlly Review for April 1869, does 
rerluro to challenge thejiwlice of the cbiim I make for Hume. He merely 
esta that I have been wanting in cnndour in not mentioning Comte's high 
Bl^inion of Hiiiiie. After miiture reHcction 1 am unable to discern taj fault. 
KXf I had »ugge«ted that Comti? had borrowed from Hume without ocknowledg- 
■tnent; or if. instead of trjing to eipreas my oivn lenae of Hume'i merit* with 

16tJ ; Ur SESMOM. ADDRESSES, .l.\-D nEfJEirS. [vi 

The few lines devoted to Comtism in my paper on the 
" Physical Baaia of Life " were, in intention, strictly 
limited to these two purposes. But they seem to have 
given more umbrage than I intended they should, to the 
followers of M. Comtc in this country, for some of whom, 
let me oliservc in passing, I entertaiu a most unfeigned 
respect ; and Mr. Congreve's recent article gives expres- 
sion to the displeasure which I have excited among the 
members of the Comtian body. 

Mr. Congrevc, in a peroration which seems especially 
intended to catch the attention of his readers, indig 
nautly challenges me to admire M. Comte's life, " to 
deny that it has a marked character of grandeur aboufc 
it ; " and he uses some very strong language because I 
show no sign of veneration for his idol. I confess I do 
not care to occupy myself with the denigration of a man, 
who, on the whole, deserves to be spoken of with respect. 
Therefore, I shall enter into no statement of the reaaontt 

the modesty which bccomcH a writer who has no authorit; in mattera of philo- 
sophy, 1 hod affirmed that no one had properly appreciated him, Mr. Congreve's 
remarhi would apply : hut ax I did noither of these thiogs, they appear to 
ine to be irrelevant, if not unjastifuLblo. And even had it occurred to me to 
quote M, Comt«'s expressions about Hume, I da nut know that I ahoold lutTt 
cited them, inasmuch as, on his own showing, M, Comtc occaaionally speaks 
very decidedly touching writers of whose works he has not rend a line. Thu^ 
in Tome VI. of the " Fhilosophie Positive," p. 61!l, M. Comte writes: "ht 
plus grand des m^taphysiciens modemes, I'illustro Kant, a noblement m^ritA 
une ^temelle admiration en teotant, le premier, d'^chappcr directement k 
I'absotu philosophique par sa c^lf^bre conception de la double rfaUt4, k Ik 
fois objective et subjective, qui indique im si juatc sentiment de la laij 

But in the "Preface Peraonnelle" iuthe same volume, p. 36, M. Comte te 
us :— " Je n'ai jamais lu, en aucune lungue, ni Vico, iii EanI, ni Qerder, 
H^fel, &c. ; je ne connaia leura divers nuvTngi?3 que d'aprts quelques 
indirectea et certains extraita fort inauffiaanta." 

Who knows but that the "&c." may include Hume ) And in ilwt 
what ia the value of M. Comte's praise of him 1 


■ which lead me unhesitatingly to accept Mr. Congreve's 

■challenge, and to refuse to recognise anything which de- 

raervea the name of grandeur of character in M. Comte, 

unless it Ire hie aiTogance, which is undoubtedly sublime. 

All I have to oliBcrve is, that if Mr. Congreve is justified 

in saying that I speak with a tinge of contempt for Lis 

* spiritual father, tlie reason for such colouring of my 

■language is to bo found in the fact, that, when I wrote, 
I had but just arisen from the perusal of a work with 
Which he is doubtless well acquainted, M. Littr^'s 
"Auguate Comte et la Philosophic Positive." 

Though there are tolerably fixed standards of right 

Ilind wrong, and oven of generosity and meanness, it 
inay be said that the beauty, or grandeur, of a life is 
JDnore or less a matter of taste ; and Mr, Congreve's 
potions of literary excellence are so different from mine 
&at, it may be, we should diverge as "widely in our 
judgment of moral beauty or ughness. Therefore, while 
retaining my own notions, I do not presume to quarrel 
with his. But when Mr. Congreve devotes a great deal 
of laboriously guarded insinuation to the endeavour to 
lead the public to believe that I have been guilty of the 
jshonesty of having criticised Comte without having 
sad him, I must be permitted to remind hira that he 
lias neglected the well-known niajtim of a diplomatic 
jage, " If you want to damage a man, you should say 
B^hat is probable, as well as what is tnie," 

And when Mr. Congreve speaks of my having iiu ad- 

aitage over him in my introductiou of "Christianity " 

into the phrase that " M. Comte's philosophy, in practice, 

might be described as Catholicism mimis Christianity ; *' 

intending thereby to suggest that 1 have, by so doing, 


^:'fr -^'v 


denied to profit \fj an appeal to die 9i\ 
—-he kjB hinuelf open to a Toy 

What if I were to suggest diat Mil GMgig.iii 
read Comte's works ; and that the phnae 
shofra that the Tiew of the 
soperficiaDj — over the whole 
from the mention of CathoKrwm,' 
Mr. Congieve has no acquaintance with die *^ 
PositiTe "% \ think the soggestioD would be 
and nnmanneiij, and I shall not make \3l But tk& hA 
lemains, that this litde epigiam of min^ whick 
great] J proroked Mr, Congrere, is neither move 
than a condensed paraphrase of the foQowing 
which is to be found at page 344 of the fifth Ttiiome of 
the •* PhOosophie Positive :" ^— 

** La MQk tdoliofii poatible de ee gnmd ptoUeme hifti»iq[T, ^[v m » 
yuam pa ttre pliilocophiqiiemest poi^ jnaqa'id, eooMfee a 
en tens ndkakment inrene des notioiis babttneUei^ ^ve or 
ikieemairemad pirir idnsi, dant It eatkoidcume^ cHcdi la 
rcr§f€unsaiianf qui n'a M paMagerement rum^ que par ndie de 
in^taiUe adb^renee ^l^meiitaire k la philosophie Ih^ologiqiie, 
ik snceomber gradueUeineDt aoos rirrMeiible ^mandpatioii de la 
homaine; UmdU qu*une idle conMtUuium, comwtmablememi 
9ur dt$ base$ inUUeetuelUM d la fois plus Hemlues elphu MiaUet;, 
^naUmerU prSnder d rindispensabU riorgcmiaaUon tpiritmelU det 
90cUUs modfmei, muf les dijhmeei eueniielles Mponiamamemi etrref- 
ponda$Ue$ d CexirhfU divertiU deM doetrineM fondawunUiUt ; jk moiiis 
de enppoeer, ce qui serait certainement contndictoire li rensemlde dee 
loie de noire natare, que lee immenees efforto de tant de gtands 
bommee, second^ par la persevdrante eollicitade dee nations civiliaeee, 
dans la fbndation s^laiie de ce chef-d'orane politique de la si^esw 
humaine, doivent Stre eniin irr^TOcablement peidus pour T^te de 
rhumanit^ sauf les r^sultats, capitaux mais proYisoiree, qui s'y rap- 
portaieni imm^iatement Cette explication gen^rale, d^j4 ^Tidem- 
inent motivee par la suite dee considerations propres ^ ce cbapitre, 

> Now and alwajrt I quote the second edition, by littr^ 


sera de plus on plus confirmee par tout le reate de notre operation 
histoiique, dont file eonditufra tponian^Tnenl la principale eonetanon 


Nothing can be clearer, Ck)mte's ideal, as stated by 
himself, is Catholic organization without Catholic doc- 
trine, or, in other words, Catholicism mimis Christianity. 
Surely it is utterly unjustifiable to ascribe to me base 
motives for stating a man's doctrines, as nearly as may 
be, in his own words I 

My readers would hardly be interested were 1 to follow 
Mr. Congreve any further, or I might point out that the 
fact of his not having heard mc lecture is hardly a safe 
ground for his speculations as to what I do not teach. 
Nor do I feel called upon to give any opinion as to 
M. Comte's merits or demerits as regai*ds sociology. 
Mr. Mill (whose competence to speak on these matters 
I suppose will not be questioned, even by Mr. Congreve) 
has dealt with M. Comto'a philosophy from this point of 
view, with a vigour and authority to which I cannot for 
a moment aspire ; and with a severity, not unfrequently 
amounting to contempt, which I have not the wish, if I 
had the i>ower, to surpass. I, as a mere strident in these 
questions, am content to abide by Mr. Mill's judgment 
until some one shows cause for its reversal, and I decline 
,,to enter into a discussion whieh I have not ]H'ovoked. 

The sole obligation which lies upon me is to justify so 
IJuch as still remains without justification of what I 
lave written respecting Positivism — namely, the opinion 

ipresaed in the following paragraph : — 

" In 80 far as my study of what specially characterises the Positive 
BphUoeopliy lias led me, I Snd therein Httlo or nothing of any scientific 
ftlue, and a ^reat deal which is as thoroughly antagonistic to the very 
if M:ience as anj thills in ulltamontane Catholicism." 


Here are two propositions : the first, that the " Phi* 
losophie Positive " contains little or nothing of any 
scientific value ; the second, that Comtism is, in spirit^ 
anti-acientifie. I shall endeavour to bring forward amplft 
evidence in support of both. 

I. No one who possesses even a superficial acquaint- 
ance with physical science can read Comte's " Legona ** 
without becoming aware that he was at once singularly 
devoid of real knowledge on these subjects, and singu- 
larly unlucky. What is to be thought of the contem- 
porary of Young and of Presnel, who never missea 
an opportunity of easting scom upon the hypothesift 
of an ether — the fundamental basis not only of thef 
undulatory theory of light, but of so much else ini 
modern physics — and whose contempt for the intellects 
of some of the strongest men of his generation was suchj- 
that he puts forward the mere existence of night as a^ 
refutation of the undulatory theory ? ^ What a woa- 
derfij gauge of his own value as a scientific critic does 
he afford, by whom we are informed that phrenology i 
a great science, and psychology a ehimrera ; that Gall 
was one of the great men of his age, and that Cuvie? 
was " brUliant but superficial"!^ How unlucky mus£ 
one consider the bold speculator who, just before the 
dawn of modem histology — which is simply the appli-* 
cation of the microscope to anatomy — reproves what he 
calls " the abuse of microscopic investigations," and " the 
exaggerated credit " attached to them ; who, when the 
morphological uniformity of the tissues of the great 
majority of plants and animals was on the eve of being 

' " Philosopliio Positive," ii. p. 440. 
" Le brillant wais superficiel Cuvier."— PAiIoKipAie PotUivt, »i. p. 383., 



demonstrated, treated with ridicule thoae who attempt 
to refer all tissues to a " tissu gtSn^rateur," formed Ly 
"' ]e ehimdrique et inintelligible assemblage d'une sorte 
lie monades organiqucs, qui seraient d^s lors lea vrais 
t-l^ments primordiaux de tout corps vivant ; " ^ and who 
finally tells us, that all the objections against a linear 
arrangement of the species of living beings are in their 
essence foolish, and that the order of the animal series is 
" necessarily linear," ^ when the exact contrary is one of 
the best-established and the most important truths of 
zoulogy. Appeal to mathematicians, astronomers, physi- 
cists,^ chemists, biologists, about the " Philosophic Posi- 
tive," and they all, with one consent, begin to make 
protestation that, whatever M. Comte's other merits, he 
has shed no light upon the philosophy of their particular 

^B To be just, however, it must be admitted that even 

' M. Comte's most ardent disciples arc content to be 

judiciously silent about his knowledge or appreciation of 

the sciences themselves, and prefer to base their master's 

claims to scientific authority upon his " law of the 

three states," and his " classification of the sciences." 

But here, also, I must join issue with them as completely 

as others — notably Mr,- Herbert Spencer — have done 

_ before me. A critical examination of what M. Comte 

■Qtas to say about the "law of the three states" brings out 

^Knothing but a series of more or less contradictory state- 

Philosopbie PosUiye," ui. p. 369. * Ibid. p. 387. 

' Hear the laWi Dr. Whewell, who calls Comte " n shallow pretender," so 

all the modem sciences, except astronom]', are concerned ,- and tolb ui 
thai "hia pretensions to diacoveiies are, as Sir John Horscliel has shown, 
nhsurdlj fBllacioHB," — " Comte and Poailivism," MacrnUlaTi't Magitrinr, 




incnte of an imperfectly apprehended truth; and his"cl« 
aification of the sciences," whether regarded historically 
or logically, is, in my judgment, absolutely worthless. 

Let US consider the law of " the three states " as 
is put before us in the opening of the first Le9on 
the " Philosophie Positive ; " — 

" Ell L'tudiaut Etiusi le dereloppement total de rintelligeace btu 
dans BOB diversee sph^ree d'activit^, depuis son premier essur le pliM^ 
simple jiwqu'A dob joui-a, je crois avoir d^coovert une grsnde Im 
fon dam en tale, k laquello il est aseujetti par une n^eesit^ invariable, et 
■[ui mo seiiible pouvoir @tre solidement etablle, eoit sur les preuTea 
ralionoUei^ fuurnies par la connaissance de notre organisation, aoit sui 
les veiilications historiquea n'sultant d'un examen attentif du paasd, 
Cette loi conslste en ce que chacune de nos conceptions principalaa, 
chnque branche do nos connaisaancea, pRSse successivement par tnis 
^tata th^uriquea d JfT^ rents ; I'elat tli^ologiquo, ou Uctif; I'^tat meta- 
pbyeique, ou abatrait ; t'ctat scientifique, ou poaitif. En d'autras 
t«nnes, reaprit humain, par sn nature, emploie successivement duivl 
chacune de ses recherches trob methodes de philosopher, dont i 
enradire at euentitUement different et mliiu radieaUiMat oppoajs 
d'abord la lu^tbode thi^ologique, enBuit« la mctbode metaphysiqne, 
enfln la nxftbode positive, De Ik, trois sortes de philosophie, t 
BjBt^mos g^n^raux de conceptions but I'ensemble Ae& phenom^nc 
t't^clutnt mututlUmeiit ; la premiere est le point de depart nScessaire d 
rintelligonce bumaine ; la troiaieme, son etat fixe et dcfiiutif ; la k 
cat nniqueraent destin^e k servir de tranBition," ' 

Nothing can be more precise than these statomenta 
which may be put into the following propositions:— 

(ft) The human intellect is subjected to the law 1 
an invariable necessity, which is demonstrable, A prio^i'iA 
from the nature and constitution of the intellect y 
while, aa a matter of historical fact, the human in< 
tellet't has been subjected to the law. 

(i) Every branch of human knowledge passes through! 

' " Philosfiphie Pocitive," i. pp. 8, 9. 


tte three states, neeeasarily beginning with the first 

(c) The three states mutually exclude one another, 

I being essentially different, and even radically opposed. 
* Two questions present themselves. Is M. Comte 
consistent with himself in making these assertions ? 
And is he consiatent with fact ? I reply to both 
questions in the negative ; and, as regards the first, 
I bring forward as my witness a remarkable passage 
which is to be found in the fourth volume of the 
" Philosophie Positive" (p. 491), when M. Comte had 
had time to think out, a little more fully, the notions 
crudely stated in the first volume : — 

' " A proprement puler, la philosophie th4ologiqne, mcnie daos notre 
premiere enfance, individuelle ou aociale, n'a jamais pu utre rigoiireuae- 
menl uuivereelle, c'est-B-dire que, pout les ordrea quelcoiiques de 
pb^DoiaeDes, U* /aiU let plu» ghnpltfi el lf-» plw command ont tovjourt 
Hi regardet eomme enenU'e/lemenl astujetti* A des tot* nntnreUe», au lieu 
d'ftre ottT-ibuit d Parbitraire volant^ ties agents lumaturflt. L'jllnstre 
Adam Smith a, par exemple, tT^s-heareusement remarqu6 dans eea 
' niwnin philoBophiques, quW ae trouvait, ea aucau toinps ni en aucun 
■^ys, un dieii pour la pesanteur. II m etl niim, en ghi^-al, mime a 
^^^j^n/ dfM tujets Us plut eompliqttis, envert tous les phinomtaet astei 
StmenUiires et a*ta familien pour que In par/nite invariabilite de 
leurx relations effective* ait toujour* d& frappfr gpontanemeiit CfAter- 
vateur le moiu* pripari. Dsiia I'ordre moral et social, qu'une vaine 
opposition voudrait aujourd'hiii system atiquem en t interdire i. la pbi- 
loaophie positive, il y a eu ii^ceseairement, en tout temps, la pens^n 
dea loia naturellea, TelatiTemcnt aux plus eimples phi^aomtnea de la 
vie journaliere, comma I'exige ^ridemment la coniUiita generalo da 
notre existence r^elle, indiviiluelle ou sociale, qui n'aurait pu jamaLi 
comporter aucuno pr^voyance qnelconque, si tous les ph^nominee 
huinains avaient ^ti^ rigoureuseroent atti'ibu^s \ des agents eumaturels, 
puisque d^s lors la priire aurait logiquement constilue la seule res- 
source imaginable pour iuQuer sur le cours babitiiel des actions 
hiunaines. On doit mime remarqutr, A re mjet, gue ifut, au ronfraire, 


Peboiteke tponieaue dea pra m i^r a Ima natmreBet prtprm amas mda mdi- 
widuels OH iociaux qtdy fiidyKment trmupartie d tomt lea pkemmmmei du 
mmrndt extleriemr, a dtdbcrd fomrm^ dtaprea noa explieatUma preeedamiea. It 
WTfU priikeipe fi m d a wit a Ual de la jpkaloaophie dkSologiqme. Aimaiy le fferwu 
HemeiUaire de la pkUoaopkie pomHwe eat ca-taimeaaaU toaU amaai primitif 
aafomd que edmi de la p kdlo a op kie tkevlogiqwt eflt mhmt, qmai qu'il m'aii 
pH m deadopper rpu beameoup plma tanL XTne telle nodoa impoite 
extrgmemeiit k le perfidte Titionalfte de notre theciie ■ociolqgiqiie, pai»- 
qae la yie hnmaine ne poafint junaoB offidcr aoraiie TentaUe eree&n 
qndconqxie, mail toajoms nne ample eTolnikm gndgeHey TeBor final 
de Teapnt poeitif deviendiait sdentifiqTieineDt incompielieiiflibley si, 
d^ rorigine, on n'en. conceYait, k tooa ^gutfa, ke premiers mdimentB 
s^eeeseizea. Depois oeite aitnatioa piimztiTe» k mesure qne nos 
obeerrstknia ae aant qwntani^nwmt ^tendnee et gero^TaKe^ea^ eet esBor, 
d'abofd k peine jqypreciable, a eonaUmmenft suiTiy aana oeaaer long- 
tempa d'etre aabalteme, nne pio g i e a si oa tr^lente, mais contmuey la 
pbiloaophie theologique restant tonjoms reaenr^ poor lea plidnom^nee, 
de moina en moina nombrenx, dont lea loia natorelles ne poayaient 
encore ^tre aocnnement conniie&'' 

Ck>mpare the propositions implicitly laid down here 
with those contained in the earlier yolnme. (a) As 
a matter of fact, the human intellect has not been 
invariably subjected to the law of the three states, 
and therefore the necessity of the law cannot be 
demonstrable d priori. (6) Much of our knowledge 
of all kinds has not passed through the three states, 
and more particularly, as M. Comte is careful to point 
out, not through the first (c) The positive state has 
more or less co-existed with the theological, from the 
dawn of human intelligence. And, by way of com- 
pleting the series of contradictions, the assertion that 
the three states are ** essentially different and even 
radically opposed," is met a litde lower on the same 
page by the declaration that "the metaphysical state 
IB, ut bottom, nothing but a simple general modification 
of the first ; " while, in the fortieth Lejon, as also in the 


interesting early essay entitled " Considerations philo- 
Bopbiques sur lea Sciences et lea Savants (1825)," the 
three states ai'e practically reduced to two. " Le veri- 
table esprit gdn^rai de toute philosophie thdologique 
ou m^taphysique consiste h, prendre pour principe, dans 
Texplication des pli^nomfenes du monde ext^rieiu-, uotre 
sentiment imra^diat des phdnomfenes humains ; tandis 
que au eontraire, la phUosophie positive est toujoura 
LCt^risde, uou moins profoud^ment, par la subordina- 
m nfeessaire et rationnelle de la conception de Thomme 
& celle du monde." ^ 

I leave M. Comte's disciples to settle which of these 
contradictoiy statements expresses their master's real 
meaning. All I beg leave to remark is, that men of 
science are not in the habit of paying much attention 
|:|o "laws" stated in this fashion. 

y The second statement is undoubtedly far more rational 
and consistent with fact than the first ; but I cannot 
think it is a just or adequate account of the growth 
of intelligence, either in the individual man, or in the 
human species. Any one who will carefully watch the 
development of the intellect of a child will perceive 
that, from the first, its mind is mirroring nature in two 
different ways. On the one hand, it is merely drinking 
in sensations and building up associations, while it forms 
iceptions of things and their relations which ai'e more 
iroughly " positive," or devoid of entanglement with 
hypotheses of any kind, than they will ever be in after- 
life. Ko child has recourse to imaginary personifications 
in order to account for the ordinary properties of objects 
'hich are not alive, or do not represent living things. It 

' "Philtwophie Pontive," iii. p, 188. 

in S 


does not imagine that the taste of sugar is brought ahoi 
by a god of sweetness, or that a spirit of jumping csuf 
a ball to bound. Such phsenomona, which form the I 
of a very large part of its ideas, are taken as mattea 
of course — as ultimate facts which suggest no difficoltj 
and need no explanation. So far as all these common, 
though important, phsenomena are concerned, the child's 
mind la in what M, Corate would call the " positive " 

Bat, side by side with this mental condition, there r 
another. The child becomes aware of itself as a sourc<| 
of action and a subject of passion and of thought. Tha 
acts which follow upon its own desires are among thft 
most interesting and prominent of surrounding occm 
fences ; and these acts, again, plainly arise either out ( 
affections caused by siirrounding things, or of othel 
changes in itself. Among these surrounding things, thfl 
most interesting and important are mother and father, 
brethren and nurses. The hypothesis that these won- 
derful creatures are of like nature to itself is speedily 
forced upon the child's mind ; and this primitive pieoa 
of anthropomorphism turns out to be a highly successftil 
speculation, which finds its justification at every turn,' 
No wonder, then, that it is extended to other similarly 
interesting objects which are not too unlike these— to 
the dog, the cat, and the canary, the doll, the toy, and 
the picture-book — that these are endowed with wills and 
affections, and with capacities for being "good" 
" naughty." But surely it would be a mere perversion of 
language to call this a " theological " state of mind, eithei 
in the proper sense of the word "theological," or as con» 
trasted with " seientifie " or " positive." The child do< 


not ■worship either father or mother, dog or doll. On 
the contrary, nothing is more eurious than the absolute 
irreverence, if I may so say, of a kindly-treated yoimg 
child ; its tendency to believe in itself as the centre 
of the universe, and its disposition to exercise despotic 
lyranny over those who could crush it with a finger. 

Still less ia there anything unscientific, or anti-scientific, 
in this infantUe anthropomorphism. The child observes 
E^that many phaenomena are the consequences of affections 
itself; it soon has excellent reasons for the belief 
at many other phjenomena are consequences of the 
flections of other beings, more or less like itself And 
having thus good evidence for believing that many of 
the most interesting occurrences about it are explicable 
on the hypothesis that they are the work of intelligences 
like itself— having discovered a vera causa for many 
phasnomena — why should the chUd limit the application 
f so fruitful an hypothesis ? The dog has a sort of 
Bntelligence, so has the cat ; why should not the doll 
nd the picture-book also have a share, proportioned 
■to their likeness to intelligent things ? 

The only limit which does arise is exactly that which, 

; a matter of science, should arise ; that is to say, the 

Bthropomorphic interpretation is applied only to those 

phpenomena which, in their general natm-e, or their 

apparent caprieiousness, resemble those which the cliild 

observes to be caused by itself, or by beings like itself 

^nAU the rest are regarded as things which explain them- 

^E^ves, or are inexplicable. 

^B It is only at a later stage of intellectual development 
^^Biat the intelligence of man awakes to the apparent 
^Bonfiict between the antliroiioraoi-phic, and what 1 ma] 



call the physical,' aspect of nature, and either endeavoum 
to extend the antliropomorphie view over the whole < 
nature — which is the tendency of theology ; or to give 
the same exclusive predominance to the physical view— ' 
which is the tendency of science ; or adopts a middle 
(;oui"se, and taking from the anthropomorphic view lis 
tendency to personify, and from the physical view \\B 
tendency to exclude volition and afifeetion, ends in what 
M. Comte calls the "metaphysical" state — "metaphyw 
eical," in M. Comte's writings, being a general term rf 
abuse for anything he does not like. 

What is true of the indii-idual is, mutatU mvtandtat 
true of the intellectual development of the species. It 
is absiu'd to say of men in a state of primitive savagery,, 
that all their conceptions are in a theological stata 
Nine-tenths of them are eminently realistic, and 
" positive " as ignorance and narrowness can make them. 
It no more occurs to a savage than it does to a child, 
to ask the why of the daily and ordinary occurrences' 
which form the greater part of his mental life. Bui6 
in regard to the more striking, or out-of-the-way, eventa, 
which force him to speculate, he is highly anthropo- 
morphic ; and, as compared \vith a child, his anthropo- 
morphism is complicated by the intense impressioi|. 
which the death of his own kind makes upon him, 
as indeed it well may. The warrior, full of ferocioifl 

1 The word "poaitive" iu in e»ery way objectionable. In one seme It 
suggeata that raental quality which was undoubtedly largely developed 
M. Comte, but can best be dispensed with in a philosopher ; in another, it b 
unfortunate in its application to a gygtem which starta with enormous ne| 
tions ; in its third, and specially philoaophical sense, as implying a system 
thought which aasumes nothing beyond the content of obaerved fsets, i) 
iuipliei that which DCTcr did exist, and nevet will. 





energy, perhaps the despotic chief of his tribe, is 
suddenly struck down. A child may insult the man 
a moment liefore so awful ; a fly rests, undisturbed, on 

• he lips from which undisputed command issued. And 
yet the bodily aspect of the man seems hardly more 
altered than when ho slept, and, sleeping, seemed to 
himself to leave his body and wander through dream- 
I iand. What then if that something, which is the essence 

E' the man, has really been made to wander by the 
lolence done to it, and is unable, or hns forgotten, 
I come back to its shell ? Will it not retain some- 
hat of the powers it possessed during life ? May 
it not help us if it be pleased, or (as seems to be 
by far the more general impression) hurt us if it be 
angered ? Will it not be well to do towards it those 
hings which would have soothed the man and put 
htm in good humour during his life 1 It is impossible 
ftto study tnistworthy accounts of savage thought with- 
nt seeing, that some such train of ideals as this, lies at 
; bottom of their speculative beliefa 
There are savages without God, in any proper sense 
mc£ the word, but none without ghosts. And the Fetish- 
Ancestor-worship, Hero-worship, and Demonology 
Rcff primitive savages, are all, I believe, different manners 
of expression of their Ijelief in ghosts, and of the 
anthropomorphic interpretation of out-of-the-way events, 
which is its concomitant. Witchcraft and sorcery are 
he practical expressions of these beliefs ; and they 
nd in the same relation to religious worship as the 
nple anthropomorjihism of children, or savages, does 

In the progress of the species from savagery to 




advanced civilization, anthropomorphism grows into 
theology, while physicism (if T may so call it) develops 
into science ; but the development of the two is coa- 
temporaneous, not successive. For each, there long 
exists an assured province which is not invaded by 
the other ; while, between the two, lies a debateable land, 
ruled by a sort of bastards, who owe their complexion 
to physicism and their substance to anthropomorphism, 
and are M. Comte's particular aversions — metaphysical 

But, as the ages lengthen, the bordei-s of Physicism 
increase. The territories of the bastards are all annexed 
to science ; and even Theology, in her purer fonn% 
has ceased to be anthropomorphic, however she may 
talk. Anthropomorphism has taken stand in its last 
fortress — raan himself But science closely invests the 
walls ; and Philosophers gird themselves for battle 
upon the last and greatest of all speculative problems- 
Does human natm-e possess any free, volitional, or truly 
anthropomorphic element, or is it only the cunningeat 
of all Nature's clocks ? Some, among whom I count- 
myself, think that the battle will for ever remain a 
drawn one, and that, for all practical purposes, this result 
is as good as anthropomorphism winning the day. 

The elaasifieation of the sciences, which, in the eyeo 
of M, Comte's adherents, constitutes his second great 
claim to the dignity of a scientific philosopher, appears 
to me to be open to just the same objections as ths 
■law of the three states. It is inconsistent in itself^ and 
it is inconsistent with fact. Let us consider the main 
points of this classification successively ; — 
^M^n faut diftingiier par rapport a tous ka orilres dcs plienomJne^ 

U Co: 

dcUK genres de Boiences natutellea j lea nnes abstraites, gi?neralea, ont 
pour objet la cii^couverte des lois qui r6gissent lea diveraea classes de 
ph^ttoinines, en consid^rant tons lea cas qu'on peut concevoir ; lea 
auti'es concretes, partieulieres, deacriptivea, et qu'on dfeigne qnelquefoia 
sous le nom dea acieucea naturellea propremeut ditea, consistent dans 
I'application de cea loia k t'hiatoire effective dea difTi^ rents Stres 
exiatants." ' 

The " abstract " sciences are subsequently said to be 
mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, physiology, 
and social physics — the titles of the two latter being 
subsequently changed to biology and sociology. M. 
Comte exemplifies the distinction between his abstract 

id his concrete sciences as follows : — 

On pourra d'abord raperoevoir trta-nettement en comparant, d'une 
part, la physiologie g^ni^rale, et d'uue autre part la zuulogie at la 
botaoique proprement ditea. Ce aont <^vidurainont, en effet, deux 
bav&ux d'nn caract^re fort distinct, que d'etudier, en g^'^neral, lea lois 
la vie, ou de determiner le mode d'esiatenoe de cbaque coi-ps vivant, 
particulier. Cetfe KContle elude, en outre, ett fiScessairememl fondee 
la premifn:.''—F. 57. 

L All the unreality and mere bookishness of M. Comte'a 

BOwledge of physical science comes out in the passage 

; have italicised. "The special study of living beings 

I based upon a general study of the laws of life ! " 

Vhat little I know about the matter leads me to think, 

(ihat, if M. Comte had possessed the slightest practical 

acquaintance with biological science, he would have 

turned his phraseology upside down, and have perceived 

that we can have no knowledge of the general laws 

L life, except that which is based upon the study of 

ticular living beings. 

The illustration is sm-ely unluckily chosen ; but the 

zigiiage in which these so-called abati-act sciences are 

' "Philoaophie Poaitivp," i. p. 5(i, 



defined seems to me to be still more open to criticiai 
With what propriety can astronomy, or physics, 
chemistry, or biology, be said to occupy themseW) 
with the consideration of "all conceivable cases 
fall within their respective provinces ? Does the 
tronomer occupy himself with any other system of 
universe than that which is visible to him ? Does 
speculate upon the possible movements of bodies whit 
may attract one another in the inverse proportion of 
cube of their distances, say ? Does biology, whe1 
"abstract" or "concrete," occupy itself with any otl 
form of life than those which exist, or have existedi 
And, if the abstract sciences embrace all eonceivabfe' 
cases of the operation of the laws with which they 
are concerned, would not they, necessarily, embrace .the 
subjects of tlie concrete sciences, which, inasmuch as th^| 
exist, must needs be conceivable ? In fact, no such da 
tinction as that which M. Comte draws is tenable. Tbs 
first stage of his classification breaks by its own weight. 
But granting M. Comte his six abstract sciences, M 
proceeds to arrange them according to what he calUr 
their natural order or hierarchy, their places in thij 
hiemrchy being determined by the degree of generali^ 
and simplicity of the conceptions with which thMi 
deal. Mathematics occupies the first, astronomy tlifl 
second, phpics the third, chemistry the fourth, bioli^ 
the fifth, and sociology the sixth and last place in the 
series. M. Comte 's arguments in favour of this claaai- 
fication ai-p first — 

" Sa confdriuit^ easenlielle avec k co-onimation, ea quelque earU 
tpQXH&nie, mii se trouve en effet implicitement sdiuiae par les sarantl 
livr^s k I'lJtuJo dcs diverse brauchoa de la itldloaojJue naturelle." 


But I absolutely deny the existence of thia conformity. 
If there is one thing clear about the progress of modern 
scieuce, it is the tendency to reduce all scientific 
problems, except those which are purely mathematical, 
to questiona of molecular physics — that is to say, to 
the attractions, repulsions, motions, and co-ordination 
of the ultimate particles of matter. Social phtenomena 
are the result of the interaetion of the components of 
society, or men, with one another and the surrounding 
universe. But, in the language of physical science, 
which, by the nature of the ease, is materialistic, the 
actions of men, ao far as they are recognisable by 
science, are the results of molecular changes in the 
matter of which they are composed ; and, in the long 
run, these must come into tlie hands of the physicist. 
A fortioi-i, the phsenomena of biology and of chemistry 
are, in their ultimate analysis, questions of molecular 
physics. Indeed, the fact is acknowledged by all 
chcmista and biologists who look beyond their imme- 
diate occupations, jVnd it is to be observed, that the 
phfflnomena of biology are as directly and immediately con- 
nected with molecular physics as ai-c those of chemistry. 
Molar physics, chemistry, and biology are not three 
Buccessive steps in the ladder of knowledge, as M. 
Comte would have us believe, but three brandies 
spnnging from the common stem of molecular physics. 

As to astronomy, 1 am at a lo.s8 to underatand how 
any one who will give a moment's attention to the 
nature of the science can fail to see that it consists of 
two parts : first, of a description of the phaeuomena, 
which is as much entitled as descriptive zoology, or 
botany, is, to tlic name of natural history ; and, secondly, 


of an explanation of the phfenomena, furniahed by the 
laws of a force — gravitation— the. study of which is i 
much a part of physics, as Is that of heat, or electricity.* 
It would be just as reasonable to make the study of 
the heat of the sun a science preliminary to the rest 
of thermotics, as to place the study of the attraction i 
the bodies, which compose the universe in general, 
before that of the particular terrestrial bodies, which; 
alone we can experimentally know. Astronomy, in factj 
owes its perfection to the circumstance that it is thtf 
only branch of natui-al history, the pheenomena of whiclt' 
are largely expressible by mathematical conceptions,, 
and which can be, to a great extent, explained by thei 
application of very simple physical laws. 

With regard to mathematics, it is to be observed, 
the first place, that M. Corate mixes up under that 
head the pure relations of space and of quantity, which 
are properly included under the name, with rationaL 
mechanics and statics, which are mathematical devfr- 
lopments of the most general conceptions of physics, 
namely, the notions of force and of motion. Relegating 
these to their proper place in physics, we have left pure 
mathematics, which can stand neither at the head, nor 
at the tail, of any hierarchy of the sciences, since, like 
logic, it is equally related to all ; though the enormous 
practical difficulty of applying mathematics to the i 
complex phsenomena of nature removes them, for tha 
present, out of its sphere. 

On this subject of mathematics, again, M. Comte 
indulges in assertions which can only be accounted J 
by his total ignorance of physical science practiadly, 
Ab for example ; — 


"C'eet done par I'^tude dea mathi^matiques, et teulem&nt par dU, 
que ron peut ae fuire une id^e juato et approfondie de ce que o'eet 
qu'une scifnee. C'eat \k uniqiiement qu'on doit chercher k connattre 
STec precision /a mithode f/hwraU que Cetprit humain emptoie eonitam- 
ment dans toules set rec/mrehes potitiva, parce que nuUe part ailleure 
\ea questions ne aout ri^oluea d'une ninnicre aussi complete et les 
di5duction3 ptolong^es ausBi loin avec une e4vorit« rigoureuGe. C'eat 
\k (jgalement que notre en ten dement a donn^ lea plus grandea preuves 
de aa force, parce que lea iddes qu'il y considtre aont du plus haut 
degi^ d'absttaction possible dans I'ordre positif. ToiiU education 
tcienlifiqve (fii ne commence point pur une lelle itude piche done nicet- 
sairement par »a hare." ■■ 

That ia to say, the only study whi(;h can confer " a just 
and comprehensive idea of what is meant by science," 
and, at the same time, furnish an exact conception of 
the general method of scientific investigation, is that 
which knows nothing of observation, nothing of experi- 
!nt, nothing of induction, nothing of causation 1 And 
lucation, the whole secret of which consists in proceed- 
ing from the easy to the difficult, the concrete to the 
abstract, ought to be turned the other way, and pass 
from the abstract to the concrete. 

M. Comtc puts a second ai-gument in favour of his 
hierarchy of the sciences tlins :— 

17n second caract^re tr^s-esaentiel de notre classification, c'est 
[^Stre n^ceaaairement conforme k I'ordre efiectif du d^veloppement de 
1ft phOosopbie naturelle. C'est ce que r^rifie tout ce qu'on gait de 
rhistoire des sciences."'' 

But Mr. Spencer has so thoroughly and completely 
demonstrated the absence of any correspondence between 
Ihe historical development of the sciences, and their 
Bition in the Comtean hierarchy, in his essay on the 

" FhiloRophie Positire," i. p. 99. ' Ibid., i. p. 77. 





" Genesis of Science," that I shall not waste time in 
repeating his refutation. 

A third proposition in support of the Comtean claaaif 
fication of the sciences stands as follows : — 

" En troisiiWe lien cette classification pr^sente la propriety tr^ 
remarquable de iniLn]uer esactcment la perfaition relative dee diffi^ 
wntea eciencea, latiuelle conaisto essontielleiuent dans le degr^ ( 
pr^ciaion des counaissonces et dans letii co-ordination plus ou moii 

I am quite unable to understand the distinction whiet 
M. Comte endeavours to draw in this passage in spitfl 
of his amplifications further on. Every science musi 
consist of precise knowledge, and that knowledge mui 
be co-ordinated into general proportions, or it is nol 
science. When M. Comte, in exempUfication of th« 
statement I have cited, saya that " les ph^nom^nefl 
organiques ne eomportent qu'nne dtude \l la foia moinH 
exacte ct moins systtSmatiqiie que lea pht'nomfenes del 
corps bmts," I am at a loss to comprehend what ho 
means. If I affirm that " when a motor nerve is irri* 
tated, the muscle connected with it becomes simultane- 
ously shorter and thicker, without changing its volume," 
it appears to me that the statement is as precise or exact 
(and not merely as true) as that of the physicist wb 
should say, that " when a piece of iron is heated, i 
becomes simultaneously longer and thicker and increasea 
in volume ; " nor can 1 discover any difference, in point 
of precision, between the statement of the morphological 
law that " animals which suckle their young have tw 
occipital condyles," and the enunciation of the physict 

' " Philosophic Positive," L p. 78. 

law that " water subjected to electrolysis ia replaced by 
an equal weight of the gases, oxygen and hydrogen." 
As for anatomical or physiological investigation being 
less " systematic " than that of the physicist or chemist, 
the assertion is simply unaccountable. The methods of 
physical science are eveiywhere the same in principle, 
and the physiological investigator who was not " sys- 
tematic " would, on the whole, break down rather sooner 
tlian the inquirer into simpler subjects. 

Thus M. Conite's classification of the sciences, under 
all its aspects, appears to me to be a complete failure. 
It is impossible, in an article which is already too long, 
to inquire how it may be replaced by a better ; and it is 
the less necessary to do so, as a second edition of Mr, 
Spencer's remarkable essay on this subject has just been 
published. After wading through pages of the long- 
winded confusion and second-hand information of the 
" Philosophic Positive," at the risk of a crise ciribrale — 
it is iis good as a shower-bath to turn to the " Classi- 
fication of the Sciences," and refresh oneself with Mr, 
Spencer's profound thought, precise knowledge, and clear 

L II. The second proposition to which I have committed 
fcnyself, in the paper to which I have been obliged to 
' refer so often, ia, that the " Positive Philosophy " contains 
" a great deal which is as thoroughly antagonistic to the 
very essence of science as is anything in ultramontane 

V "What I refer to in these words, is, on the one hand, 

tlie dogmatism and narrowness which so often mark 

M. Comte's discussion of doctrines which he does not 

^like, and reduce his expressions of opinion to mere 



passioiuiv^ puerilities ; as, for eximjde, when he is 
arguing against the assumption of an ether, or when 
he is talking (I cannot call it arguing) against psycho- 
logy, or political economy. On the other hand, I allude 
to the spirit of meddling sjrstematization and regulation 
which animates even the "Philosophic Positive," and 
breaks out, in the latter volumes of that work, into no 
uncertain foreshadowing of the anti-scientific monstzo^ 
sities of Comte's later writings. 

Those who try to draw a line of demarcation between 
the spirit of the "Philosophic Positive," and that of 
the " Politique " and its successors, (if I may express 
an opinion fix)m fragmentary knowledge of these last,) 
must have overlooked, or forgotten, what Comte himself 
labours to show, and indeed succeeds in proving, in 
the ^ Appendice G^n^ral " of the " Politique Positive." 
"Dfes mon d^but," he writes, "je tentai de fonder le 
nouveau pouvoir spirituel que j'institue aujourdTiui." 
"Ma politique, loin d'etre aucunement oppos^ ^ ma 
philosophic, en constitue tellement la suite naturelle 
que celle-ci fut directement institute pour servir de base 
k celle-lk, com me le prouve cet appendice."^ 

This is quite true. In the remarkable essay entitled 
" Considerations sur le Pouvoir spirituel," published in 
March 1826, Comte advocates the establishment of a 
" modern spiritual power," which, he anticipates, may 
exercise an even greater influence over temporal affairs, 
than did the Catholic clergy, at the height of their 
vigour and independence, in the twelfth century. This 
spiritual power is, in fact^ to govern opinion, and to 
have the supreme control over education, in each 

' Loc cit.. Preface Sp^iide, pp. L ii 


iiatioii of ihe. ^Kp^t ■ i-nd the spiritual po* 1j of the 
several European peoples are to be associated together 
and placed under a common direction or " souverainet^ 

I flpirituelle." 

A system of "Catholicism minus Christianity" was 

' therefore completely organized in Comte's mind, four 
years before the first volume of the " Philosophie 
Positive " was written ; and, naturally, the papal spirit 
shows itself in that work, not only ia the ways I 
have already mentioned, but, notably, in the attack 
on liberty of conscience which breaks out in the fourth 
volume : — - 

" II n'y a point de liberto de conscience en astronomie, en phyaique, 
ea chimie, en phj^siologie m@me, en ce sena que chactm trouverait 
ftbeurde de ne pas croire de con&uice aux prlnoipes etablia dans lea 
ecieneea par les hommea comp<5 tents." 

"Nothing in ultramontane Catholicism" can, in my 
judgment, be more completely sacerdotal, more entirely 
anti-scientific, than this dictum. All the great steps in 
the advancement of science have been made by just 
those men who have not hesitated to doubt the " prin- 
ciples established in the sciences by competent persons ; " 
and the great teaching of science — the great use of it as 
an instrument of mental discipline— is its constant iucul- 

■tion of the maxim, that the sole ground on which any 

,tement has a right to be believed is the impossibility 
of refuting it. 

Thus, without travelling beyond the limits of the 
"Philosophie Positive," we find its author contemplat- 
the establishment of a system of society, in which 
organized spiritual power shall over-ride and direct 
tile temporal power, as completely as the Innocents and 

190 LAT 8£RM0SS, ADDMBSES, JSB MM f lMWX [rm. 

GtegorjB tried to gcnrem Europe in ilae middle jges ; and 
repudiating the exercise of liberty ci comadsBCt agunst 
the *^homme$ campStentsJ^ ci whom, fay the aawimp- 
tioD, the new priesthood would be composed. Was 
Mr. Congreve as forgetful ci this, as he seems to ha^e 
been of some other parts of the '^ Philos(q[diie Positive,'' 
when he wrote, that ^'in any limited, careful use c£ 
the term, no candid man could say that the Positive 
Philosophy contained a great deal as thoroughly anta- 
gonistic to [the very essence of^] science as Cathcdi- 
cism ? 

M« Comte, it will have been observed, desires to retain 
the whole of Catholic organization; and the logical 
practical result of this part of lus doctrine would be 
the establishment of something corresponding with that 
eminently CathoUc. but admittedly anti-scientific, insti- 
tution — the Holy Office. 

I hope I have said enough to show that I wrote the few 
lines I devoted to M. Comte and his philosophy, neither 
unguardedly, nor ignorantly, still less maliciously. I 
shall be sorry if what I have now added, in my own 
justification, should lead any to suppose that I think 
M. Comte's works worthless ; or that I do not heartily 
respect, and sympathise with, those who have been im- 
peUed by him to think deeply upon social problems, 
and to strive nobly for social regeneration. It is the 
virtue of that impulse, I believe, which will save 
the name and fame of Auguste Comte from oblivion. 
As for his philosophy, I part with it by quoting 
his own words, reported to me by a quondam Comtist, 

^ Mr. Congreve leaves out these important words, which show that I refer 
to the spirit, and not to the detaik of soienoe. 


now an eminent member of the Institute of France, 
M. Charles Robin : — 

'' La Philosophie est une tentative incessante de Tesprit humaiii pour 
arriver an repos : mais elle se trouve incessamment aussi denrng^e par 
les progr^ continus de la science. De Ik vient pour le philosophe 
Fobligation de refaiie chaqae soir la synth^e de sea conceptions; et 
un jour viendra oil rhomme laisonnable ne fera plus d*autre priere 
du soir." 




If a well were to be sunk at oui: feet in the midst of 
the city of Norwich, the diggers would very soon find 
themselves at work in that white substance almost too 
soft to be called rock, with which we are all familiar as 
" chalk." 

Not only here, but over the whole county of Norfolk, 
the well-sinker might carry his shaft down many hundred 
feet without coming to the end of the chalk ; and, on 
the sea-coast, where the waves have pared away the 
face of the land which breasts them, the scarped faces 
of the high cliffs are often wholly formed of the same 
material. Northward, the chalk may be followed as far 
as Yorkshire ; on the south coast it appears abruptly 
in the picturesque western bays of Dorset, and breaks 
into the Needles of the Isle of Wight ; while on the 
shores of Kent it supplies that long line of white cliffs 
to which England owes her name of Albion. 

Were the thin soil which covers it all washed away, 
a curved baud of white chalk, here broader, and there 




narrower, might be followed diagonally across England 
irom Lulwortb in Dorset, to Flamborough Head, in 
Yorkshire — a distance of over 280 miles as the crow 

. From this band to the North Sea, on the east, and the 
! Channel, on the south, the chalk is largely hidden by 
j other deposits ; but, except in the Weald of Kent and 
|-Bu3sex, it enters into the very foundation of all the 
[ south-eastern counties. 

Attaining, as it does in some places, a thickness of 
I more than a thousand feet, the English chalk must be 
I admitted to be a mass of considerable magnitude. 
I Nevertheless, it covers but an insignificant portion of 
I tiio whole area occupied by the chalk formation of the 
I globe, which has precisely the same general characters 
as ours, and is found in detached patches, some less, 
and others more extensive, than the English. 

Chalk occurs in north-west Ireland ; it stretches over 

I large part of France, — the chalk which underlies Paris 

sing, in fact, a continuation of that of the London 

taain ; it runs through Denmark and Central Europe, and 

extends southward to North Africa ; while, eastward, it 

Appeal's in the Crimea and in Syria, and may be traced 

3 fiir as the shores of the Sea of Aral, in Central Asia. 

If all the points at which true chalk occurs were 

xiumscribcd, they would lie within an irregular oval 

^bout 3,000 miles in long diameter — the area of which 

^ould be as great as that of Europe, and would many 

names exceed that of the largest existing inland sea — 

ie Mediterranean. 

Thus the chalk is no unimportant element in the 
aaasonry of the earth's crust, and it impresses a peculiar SERMONS, JOnSESSES, AND REriEWS. 

Stamp, varying with the eoufUtions to wliich it is 
exposed, on the scenery of the clistriets in which it 
occurs. The undulating downs and rounded coombs, 
covered with sweet-grassed turf, of our inland chalk 
country, have a peacefully domestic and mutton- 
suggesting prettiness, but can hardly be called either 
grand or beautiful. But, on our southern coasts, the 
wall-aided cliffs, many hundred feet high, with vast 
needles and pinnacles standing out in the sea, sharp 
and solitary enough to serve as perches for the wary 
cormorant, confer a wonderful beauty and grandeur 
upon the chalk headlands. And, in the East, chalk has 
its share in the formation of some of the most venerable 
of mountain ranges, such as the Lebanon. 

What is this wide-spread component of the aurfaee of 
the earth % and whence did it come 1 

You may think this no very hopeful inquiry. Yoa 
may not unnaturally suppose that the attempt to solve 
such problems as these can lead to no result, save that 
of entangling the inquirer in vague speculations, in- 
capable of refutation and of verification. 

If such were really the case, I shoidd have selected 
some other subject than a "piece of chalk" for my 
discourse. But, in truth, after" much deliberation, I 
have been unable to think of any topic which would so 
well enable me to lead you to see bow solid is the foun- 
dation upon which some of the most .sta:1jing conclusions 
of physical science rest. 

A great chapter of the history of the world is written 
in the chalk. Few passages in the history of man can 
be supported by such an overwhelming mass of direct 

px-J ON A PIECE or CHJT.K. 1 95 

\ and indirect evidence as that which testifies to the truth 

of the fragment of the history of the globe, which I hope 

, to enable you to read, with your own eyes, to-night. 

I Let me add, that few chapters of human history have 

ti more profound significance for oui'selveB. I weigh 

my words well when I assert, that the man who should 

know the true history of the bit of chalk which every 

I carpenter carries about in his breeches-pocket, though 

Lignorant of all other history, is likely, if he will think 

I his knowledge out to its ultimate results, to have a truer, 

and therefore a better, conception of this wonderful 

universe, and of man's relation to it, than the most 

learned student who is deep-read in the records of 

humanity and ignorant of those of Nature. 

The language of the chalk is not hard to learn, not 

' nearly so hard as Latin, if you only want to get at the 

broad features of the story it has to tell ; and I pro- 

Lpoae that we now set to work to spell that story out 


We all know that if we "burn" chalk the result 
1 quicklime. Chalk, in fact, is a compound of carbonic 
iicid gas and lime, and when yon make it very hot the 
■ carbonic acid files away and the lime is left. 

By this method of procedure we see the lime, but we 
I do not see the carbonic acid. If, on the other hand, you 
Iwere to powder a little chalk, and drop it into a good 
Fdeal of strong vinegar, there would be a great bubbling 
I and fizzing, and, fijiaUy, a clear liquid, in which no sign 
I of chalk would appear. Here you see the carbonic acid 
[ in the bubbles ; the lime, dissolved in the vinegar, 
[vanishes from sight. There are a great many other 
I'Ways of showing that chalk is essentially nothing but 


A suggestion wbieh may naturally enough present 
itself is, that these curious bodies are the result of some 
process of aggregation which has taken place in the 
carbonate of lime ; that, just as in winter, the lime on 
our windows simulates the most delicate and elegantly 
arborescent foliage — proving that the mere mineral water 
may, under certain conditions, assume the outward form 
of organic bodies — so this mineral substance, carbonate 
of lime, hidden away in the bowels of the eartli, has 
aken the shape of these chambered Iwdies. I am not 
raising a merely fanciful and unreal objection. Very 
learned men, in former days, have even entertained the 
notion that all the formed things found in rocks are of 
this nature ; and if no such conception is at present 
held to be admissible, it is because long and varied 
experience has now shown that mineral matter never 
does assume the form and structure we find in fossils. 
If any one were to try to persuade you that an oyster- 
shell (which is also chiefly composed of carbonate of 
lime) had cryataJlized out of aea-water, I suppose you 
would laugh at tbe absurdity. Yoiu- laughter would 
be justified by the fact that all experience tends to 
show that oyster-shells are formed by the agency of 
oysters, and in no other way. And if there were no 
better reasons, we should be justified, on like grounds, 
in believing that Globigerina is not the product of any* 
thing but vital activity. 

Happily, however, better evidence in proof of the 
organic nature of the Gl^bigerin(B than that of analogy 
is forthcoming. It so happens that calcareous skeletons, 
exactly similar to the GlohigeriiKB of the chalk, are 
being formed, at the present moment, by minute living 



creatures, whit^b flourish in multitudes, literally more 
numerrjus than tin? sands of the sea-shore, over a large 
extent of that part of the earth's surface which is 
ivered by the ocean. 

The history of tbe discovery of these living Glohi- 
gerincB, and of the part which they play in rock- 
building, is singular enough. It ia a discovery wbicb, 
like others of no less aeientifie importance, has arisen, 
incidentally, out of work devoted to very different and 
exceedingly practical interests. 

, When men first took to the sea, tbey speedily learned 
^to look out for shoals and rocks ; and the more the 
'burthen of their ships increased, the more imperatively 
necessary it became for sailoi-s to ascertain with precision 
the depth of the waters tbey traversed. Out of this 
necessity grew the use of the lead and sounding-line ; 
i,«id, ultimately, marine-sui-veying, which is the recording 
)jai tbe form of coasts and of the depth of the sea, as 
Bscei-tained by the sounding-lead, upon charts. 
L At the same time, it became desirable to ascertain 
Knd to indicate the nature of the sea-bottom, since this 
pircumstauce greatly affects its goodness as holding 
HTound for anchors. Some ingenious tar, whose name 
Beserves a better fate than the oblivion into which it 
Baa fallen, attained this object by " arming " the bottom 
ppf the lead with a lump of grease, to which more or less 
Ipf the saijd or mud, or broken sheila, as the case might 
rbe, adhered, and was brought to the surface. But, 
Jbowever well adapted such an apparatus might be for 
icougb nautical purposes, scientific aecuilicy could not be 
fcxpected from the armed lead, and to remedy its defects 
Mspecially when npplied to sounding in grent dpptbs) 



Lieut. Brooke, of tbe American Navy, some years ago 
invented a most ingeuious machine, by which a consitler- 
able portion of the superficial layer of the sea-bottom 
can be scooped out and brought up, from any depth to 
■which the lead descends. 

In 1853, Lieut. Brooke obtained mud from the bottom 
of the North Atlantic, between Newfoundland and the 
Azores, at a depth of more than 10,000 feet, or two 
miles, by the help of this sounding apparatus. The 
specimens were sent for examination to Ehrenberg of 
Berlin, and to Bailey of West Point, and those able 
microBCOpista found that this deep-sea mud waB 
almost entirely composed of the skeletons of living 
organisms — the greater proportion of these being just 
like the Glohiyerinw already known to occur in tbe 

Thus far, the work had been carried on simply in the 
interests of science, but Lieut. Brooke's method of sound- 
ing acquired a high commercial value, when the enter- 
prise of laying down the telegraph-cahle between this 
country and the United States was undertaken. For 
it became a matter of immense importance to know, 
not only the depth of the sea over the whole line along 
which the cable was to be laid, but the exact nature of 
the bottom, so as to guard against chances of cutting or 
fraying the strands of that costly rope. The Admiralty 
consequently ordered Captain Dayman, an old friend and 
shipmate of mine, to ascertain the depth over the whole 
line of the cable, and to bring back specimens of the 
bottom. In former days, sucli a command as this might 
have sounded very much like one of the impossible things 
^hjtch the young prince in the Fairy Tales is onlered to 



do before he can obtain the hand of the Princess. How- 
ever, in the months of June and July 1857, my friend 
performed the task a.ssigried to him with great expedition 
and precision, without, so far as I know, having met with 
any reward of that kind. The specimens of Atlantic 
mud which he procured were seut to me to be examined 
and reported upon.^ 

The result of all these operations is, that we know the 

■■^ontoui-s and the nature of the surface-soil covered by 

lie North Atlantic, for a distance of 1,700 miles from 

^«Bfit to west, as well as we know that of any part of 

^e dry land. 

It is a prodigious plain — one of the widest and most 

Ikeven plains in the world. If the sea were drained off, 

jl^ou might drive a wagon all the way from Valeutia, on 

^e west coast of Irflaud, to Tiinity Bay, in Newfound- 

nd. And, except upon one sharp incline about 200 

iles from Valentia, I am not quite sure that it would 

|Ven be necessary to put the skid on, so gentle are the 

«nts and descents upon tliat long route. From Valentia 

%.t road would lie down hill for about 200 miles to the 

»int at which the bottom is now covered by 1,700 

^thorns of sea-water. Then would come the central 

Pijdain, more than a thousand miles wide, the inequalities 

the surface of which would be hardly perceptible, 

lugh the deptli of water upon it now vaiies from 

^0,000 to 15,000 feet; and there are places in which 

t S«e Appendix to Captuin Dajman'e " Deep Sea Soundings in the North 

JaDtic Ocean, betweeu Ireland and Newfoundland, made in H.M.B. 

Cyclopt. Pabtished by order of the Lords CommiiiBi oners of the Admiralty, 

1658." They hare since formed the Bubject of an elaborate Memoir by 

MeSdB. Parker and Jones, publiahcd in the PhUotophkid Tramaction* for 




Mont Blanc might be gunk without showing its ] 
above water. Beyond this, the ascent on the Americs 
side commences, and gradually leads, for about 'M 
miles, to the Newfoundland shore. 

Almost the whole of the bottom of this central plai 
(wliich extends for many hundred miles in a north and' 
south direction) is covered by a fine mud, which, when 
brought to the surface, dries into a greyish-white friable 
substance. You can write with this on a blackboard, i 
you are so inclined ; and, to the eye, it is quite like Ter 
soft, greyish chalk. Examined chemically, it proves 1 
be composed almost wholly of carbonate of lime ; and i 
you make a section of it, in the same way as that of 1 
piece of chalk was made, and view it with the micro 
scope, it presents innumerable Glohigerince, embeddei 
in a granular matrix. 

Thus this deep-sea mud is substantially chalk. I ex^ 
substantially, because there ai-e a good many minor dii 
ferences : but as these have no bearing on the questio 
immediately before us, — which is the nature of tl 
GlobigerincB of the chalk, — it is unnecessary to speafc 
of them. 

GlohigerniCE of every size, from the smallest to tl 
largest, are associated together in the Atlantic mud, an 
the chambers of many are filled by a soft animal matte 
This soft substance is, in fact, the remains of the creati 
to which the Globigerina shell, or rather skeleton, ow 
its existence — and which is an animal of the simplee 
imaginable description. It is, in fact, a mere partid 
of living jelly, without defined parts of any kind- 
without a mouth, nerves, muscles, or distinct organflk 
and only manifesKng it« vitalitj' to ordinary observatio 


by thrusting out and retracting from all parts of its 
surface, long filamentous processes, wliicli serve for arma 
and legs. Yet this amorphous particle, devoid of every- 
thing which, in the higher animals, we call organs, is 
capable of feeding, growing, and multiplying ; of sepa- 
rating from the ocean the small proportion of carbonate 
of lime which is dissolved in sea-water ; and of 
building up that substance into a skeleton for itself, 
according to a pattern which can be imitated by no 
other kaown agency. 

The notion that animals can live and flourish in the 
sea, at the vast depths from which apparently living 
GlohigerincE have been brought up, does not agree very 
well with our usual conceptions respecting the conditions 
of animal life ; aud it ia not so absolutely impossible as 
it might at first sight appear to be, that the Glohigerincs 
of the Atlantic sea-bottom do not live and die where 

(y are found. 

As I have mentioned, the soundings from the great 
Atlantic plain are almost entirely made up of Glohi- 
t/erhiB, with the granules which have been mentioned, 
and some few other calcareous shells ; but a small per- 
tage of the chalky mud — perhaps at most some five 
cent, of it — is of a different nature, and consists of 
shells and skeletons composed of silcx, or pure flint. These 
silicious bodies belong partly to the lowly vegetable 
organisms which are called Diatomacea, and partly to 
the minute, and extremely simple, animals, termed 
Riuliolana. It is quite certain that these creatures 
do not live at the bottom of the ocean, but at its 
surface — where they may be obtained in prodigious 
numbem by the use of a properly constructed net. 

ol 1 


But, a few years ago, )fr. Sorby, in moving a caiefal 
examination of the chalk by means of thin sections and 
otherwise, observed, as Ehrenberg had done before him, 
that much of its granular basis possesses a definite f<xiiL 
Comparing these formed particles with those in the 
Atlantic soundings, he fonnd the two to be identical ; 
and thus proved that the chalk, like the soundings; 
contains these mysterious coccoliths and coccospheiea 
Here was a further and a most interesting confirmatioii, 
from internal evidence, of the essential identity of the 
chalk with modem deep-sea mud. GlchigerincB, cocco- 
liths, and coccospheres are found as the chief constituents 
of l>oth, and testify to the general simOarity of the con- 
ditions under which both have been formed.^ 

The evidence furnished by the hewing, facing, and 
superposition of the stones of the Pyramids, that these 
structures were built by men, has no greater weight 
than the evidence that the chalk was built by Globi- 
gerincB ; and the belief that those ancient pyramid- 
builders were terrestrial and air-breathing creatures like 
ourselves, is not better based than the conviction that 
the chalk-makers lived in the sea. 

But as our belief in the building of the Pyramids by 
men is not only grounded on the internal evidence 
afforded by these structures, but gathers strength from 
multitudinous collateral proofs, and is clinched by the 
total absence of any reason for a contrary belief ; so the 
evidence drawn from the GloherigincB that the chalk is 
an ancient sea-bottom, is fortified by innumerable inde- 

^ I have recently traced out the development of the ^ oooodlitlifl " from a 
dinnieter of nAnr^ ^^ ^ ^^^ ^P ^ ^^ largest sue (which k aboat f«^th), 
and no longer doubt that they are produced by independent oiganisnis, which, 
like the GlMqtirvMB^ live and die at the bottom of the 

pendent lines of evidence ; and our belief in the truth 
of the conclusion to which all positive testimony tends, 
receives tlie like negative justification from the fact that 
no other hypothesis has a shadow of foundatioQ, 

It may be worth while briefly to consider a few of 
these collateral proofs that the chalk was deposited at 
the bottom of the sea. 

The great mass of the chalk is composed, as we have 
seen, of the skeletons of Globigerinm, and other simple 
organisms, imbedded in granular matter. Here and 
there, however, this hardened mud of the ancient sea 
reveals tlie remains of higher animals which have lived 
and died, and left their hard parts in the mud, just as 
the oysters die and leave their shells behind them, in the 
mud of the present seas. 

There are, at the present day, certain groups of animals 
which are never found in fresh waters, being unable to 
live anywhere but in the sea. Such are the corals ; those 
►rallines which are called Polyzoa; those creatures 
'hich fabricate the lamp-shells, and are called Brachio- 
poda ; the pearly Nautilus, and all animals allied to 
it ; and all the forms of sea-urchins and star-fishes. 

Not only are all these creatures confined to salt water 
at the present day ; but, ao far as our records of the past 
go, the conditions of their existence have been the same : 
hence, their occurrence in any deposit is as strong 
evidence as can be obtained, that that deposit was 
formed in the sea. Now the remains of animals of all 
the kinds which have been enumerated, occur in the 
chalk, in greater or less abundance ; while not one of 
lOae forms of shell-fish which are characteristic of fresh 
'atet has yet been observed in it. 



When we consider that the remains of more than three j 
thousand distinct species of aquatic animals have been 
discovered among the fossils of the chalk, that the great 
majority of them are of such forms as are now met with 
only in the sea, and that there is no reason to believe 
that any one of them inhabited fresh water — the collateral 
evidence that the chalk represents an ancient sea-bottom 
acquires as great force as the proof derived from the 
nature of the chalk itself. I think you will now allow 
that I did not overstate my case when I asserted that 
we have as strong grounds for l>elieving that all tlie vast 
area of dry land, at present occupied by the chalk, was 
once at the bottom of the sea, as we have for any matter 
of history whatever ; while there is no justification for 
any other belief. 

No less certain is it that the time during which 
the countries wc now call south-east England, France, 
Germany, Poland, Russia, Egypt, Arabia, Syria, were 
more or leas completely covered by a deep sea, was of 
considerable duration. 

We have already seen that the chalk is, in places, 
more than a thousand feet thick. I think you -will 
agree with me, that it must have taken some time for 
the skeletons of animalcules of a hmidredth of an inch In 
diameter to heap up such a mass as that. I have said 
that throughout the thickness of the chalk the remains 
of other animals are scattered. These remains are often 
in the most exquisite state of preservation. The valves 
of the shell-fishes are commonly adherent ; the long 
spines of some of the sea-urchins, which would l)c de- 
tached by the smallest jar, often remain in their places. 
In a word, it Ls certain that these animals have lived 



nd died when the place which they uow occupy was 
he Burface of as much of the chalk as had then been 
Heposited ; and that each has been covered up by the 
layer of Globigerinn mud, upon which the creatures 
Imbedded a little higher up have, in like manner, lived 
_ and died. But some of these remains prove the existence 
' reptiles of vast size in the chalk sea. These lived 
iheir time, and had their ancestors and descendant*, 
Irhich assuredly implies time, reptUes being of slow 

There is more curious evidence, again, that the process 
bf covering up, or, in other words, the deposit of Glohi- 
pgren'/ia skeletons, did not go on very fust. It is demon- 
strable that an animal of the cretaceous sea might die, 
that its skeleton might lie uncovered upon the sea-bottom 
long enough to lose all its outward coverings and appen- 
dages by putrefaction ; and that, after this had happened, 
another animal might attach itself to the dead and naked 
skeleton, might grow to maturity, and might itself die 
before the calcareous mud had buried the whole. 

Cases of this kind are admirably described by Sir 
fcarles Lyell. He speaks of the frequency with which 
sologists find in the chalk a fossilized sea-urchin, to 
lirhieh is attached the lower valve of a Crania. This 
kind of shell-fish, with a shell composed of two 
jces, of which, as in the oyster, one is fixed and the 
her free. 

"The upper valve is almost invariably wanting, 

though occasionally found in a perfect state of pre- 

^^ervation in the white chalk at some distance. In this 

^BBse, we see clearly that the sea-urchin first lived &om 

^Bouth to age, then died and lost its spines, which were 



Lir SBRXoys, addresses, axd Rsnsirs. 


fiarriMl away. Then the young Crania adher^ to tfa* 
barecl shell, ^ew and perished in ita torn ; after whi<^ 
the upper valve separated from the lower, bdore 
the Echinus became enveloped in chalky mud."* 

A apeeimen in the Mnseum of Practical Geology, in 
I^ondon, still further prolongs the period which mustbavft 
elftpflcd between the death of the sea-urchin, and it3 bnrial 
by the Glohif/et-ime. For the ootward face of the valve of 
a Crania, which is attflched to a sea-urchin (Micrasler), 
is it«clf overrun by an incrusting coralline, which spreads 
thcnco over more or less of the surface of the sea-urchin. 
It follows that, after the upper valve of the Crania fell 
off, the surface of the attached valve must have remained 
CxpfiBed long enough to allow of the growth of the whola 
eoralline, since corallines do not live imbedded in mud 

Thft progress of knowledge may, one day, enable u» 
to deduce from such facts as these the maximum rata 
nt which the clialk pan have accumulated, and thna to 
arrive at the minimum duration of the chalk period. 
Suppose that the vnlvo of Ihe Cranin upon which ft 
coralline hnn fixed itself in the way just described, i 
attached to the sea-urchin that no part of it is more tha& 
an inch above the face upon which the sea-urchin rests. 
Then, aa the coralline could not have fixed itself, if the 
Crania hnd been covered up with chalk mud, and 
could not have lived had itself been so covered, it follow^ 
that an inch of chalk mutl could not have accumulated 
within the time between the death and decay of the soft 
parts of thoaea-urchin and the growth of the eoralline tO 
the full size which it has attained. If the decay of thi 
sort parts of the sea-urchin ; the attachment, growth t 

' " Elements of Oeolojy," by Sir Obarles Lycll, B«rt. F.R.S., p. S3, 


tnaturity, and decay of tlie Crania; and the subsequent 
attachment and growth of the coralline, took a year 
(which is a low estimate enough), the accuraulation of 
the inch of chalk must have taken more than a year : 
and the deposit of a thousand feet of chalk must, 
insequently, have taken more than twelve thouaand 


W' The 

The foundation of all this calculation is, of course, a 
knowledge of the length of time the Crania and the 
coralline needed to attain their full size; and, on this 
head, precise knowledge is at present wanting. But 
there are circumstances which tend to show, that nothing 
like an inch of chalk has accumulated during the life of 
a Crania ; and, on any probable estimate of the length 
of that life, the chalk period must have had a much 

IUgcr duration than that thus roughly assigned to it. 
Thus, not only is it certain that the chalk is the mud of 
1 ancient sea-bottom ; but it is no less certain, that the 
lalksca existed during an extremely long period, though 
we may not be prepared to give a precise estimate of the 
length of that period in years. The relative duration is 
clear, though the absolute duration may not be definable. 
The attempt to affix any precise date to the period at 
which the chalk sea began, or ended, its existence, is 
3Sed by dif&culties of the same kind. But the rela- 
te age of the cretaceous epoch may be determined 
■ith OS great ease and certainty as the long duration 
[ that epoch. 

' You will have heard of the interesting discoveries 
recently made, in various parts of Western Europe, of 
flint implements, obviously worked into shape by Iiuman 


hands, under circumstances -which show conclusively that 
man is a very ancient denizen of these re^ons. 

It has been proved that the old populations of Europe 
whose existence has been revealed to us in this way, con- 
sisted of savages, such as the Esquimaux are now ; that, 
in the country which is now France, they hunted the 
reindeer, and were familiar with the ways of the mam- 
moth and the bison. The physical geography of Franoa 
was in those days different from what it is now— the 
river Somme, for instance, having cut its bed a hundred 
feet deeper })etweeu that time and this ; and, it is pro- 
bable, that the climate was more like that of Canad» 
or Siberia, than that of Western Europe. 

The existence of these people is forgotten even in th4 
traditions of the oldest historical nations. The namfl^ 
and fame of them had utterly vanished until a few 
years back ; and the amount of physical change which 
has been effected since their day, renders it more than 
probable that, venerable as are some of the historical 
nations, the workers of the chipped flints of Hoxne or 
of Amiens arc to them, as they are to us, in point of 

But, if we assign to these hoar relies of long vanished 
generations of men the greatest age that can possibly 1«? 
claimed for them, they are not older than the drift, or 
boulder clay, which, in comparison with the chalk, is 
but a very juvenile deposit. You need go no further 
than your own sea-board for evidence of this fact- At 
one of the most charming spots on the coast of Norfolk, 
Cromer, you will see the boulder clay forming a vast 
mass, which lies upon the chalk, and must consequently 
have come into existence after it. Huge boulders of 





chalk are, in fact, includetl in the clay, and Ixave 
evidently been brought to the position tliey now 
occupy, by the same agency as that which has planted 
blocks of syenite from Norway aide by side with 

The chalk, then, is certainly older than the boulder 

clay. If you ask how much, I will again take you no 

. further than the same spot upon your own coasts for 

^^^ridcnce. I have spoken of the boulder clay and drift 

^Kas resting upon the chalk. That is not strictly trae, 

^^^terposed between the chalk and the drift is a compa- 

^Bifotively insignificant layer, containing vegetable matter. 

But that layer tells a wonderful history. It is fuU of 

stumps of trees standing as they gi-c-w. Fir-trees are 

there with their coues, and hazel-bushes with their nuts ; 

br^ere stand the stools of oak and yew trees, beeches and 

Raiders. Hence this stratum is appropriately called the 

" forest-bed." 

It is obvious that the chalk must have been upheaved 
and converted into dry land, before the timber trees 
could grow upon it. As the bolls of some of these trees 
are firom two to three feet in diameter, it is no less clear 
that the dry land thus formed remained in the same 
condition for long ages. And not only do the remains 
of stately oaks and well-grown firs testify to the duration 
of this condition of things, but additional evidence to 
the same effect is afforded by the abundant remains of 
elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, and other great 
wild beasts, which it has yielded to the zealous search of 
such men as the Rev. Mr. Gunn. 

When you look at such a collection as he has formed, 
and bethiuk you that these elephantine bones did veritably 


carry their owners about, and these great grinders emnch, 
in the dark woods of which the forest-bed is now die 
only trace, it is impossible not to feel that they are as 
good evidence of the lapse of time as the annual rings 
of the tree-stumps. 

Thus there is a writing upon the wall of clifis at 
Cromer, and whoso runs may read it. It tells us, with 
an authority which cannot be impeached, that the 
ancient sea-bed of the chalk sea was raised up. and 
remained dry land, until it was covered with forest, 
stocked with the great game whose spoils have rejoiced 
your geologists. How long it remained in that condition 
cannot be said ; but '^ the whirligig of time brought its 
revenges" in those days as in these. That dry land, 
with the bones and teeth of generations of long-lived 
elephants, hidden away among the gnarled roots and dry 
leaves of its ancient trees, sank gradually to the bottom 
of the icy sea, which covered it with huge masses of 
drift and boulder clay. Sea-beasts, such as the walrus, 
now restricted to the extreme north, paddled about where 
birds had twittered among the topmost twigs of the fir- 
trees. How long this state of things endured we know 
not, but at length it came to an end. The upheaved 
glacial mud hardened into the soil of modem Norfolk. 
Forests grew once more, the wolf and the beaver re- 
placed the reindeer and the elephant ; and at length 
what we call the history of England dawned. 

Thus you have, within the limits of your own county, 
proof that the chalk can justly claim a very much 
greater antiquity than even the oldest physical traces of 
mankind. But we may go further and demonstrate, by 
evidence of the same authority as that which testifies to 



he exiatence of the father of moQ, that the chalk is 
iTBStly older than Adam himself. 

The Book of Genesis infonns us that Adam, immediately 
ion his creation, and before the appearance of Eve, was 
in the Gsirden of Eden. The problem of the 
[Bographical position of Eden lias greatly vexed the 
pirits of the learned in such matters, but there is one 
loint respectiug which, ao far as I know, no commentator 
s ever raised a doubt. This is, that of the four rivera 
1 are said to run out of it, Euphrates and Hiddekel 
are identical with the rivers now known by the names of 
Euphrates and Tigris. 

But the whole country in which these mighty rivers 
ke their origin, and through which they run, is 
jomposed of rocks which are either of tlie same age as 
B chalk, or of later date. So that the chalk must not 
jly have been formed, but, after its formation, the time 
quired for the deposit of these later rocks, and for tlieir 
toheavol into dry land, must have elapsed, before the 
laUest brook which feeds the swift sti*eam of "the 
sat river, the river of Babylon," began to flow. 

I Thus, evidence which cannot be rebutted, and which 

not be strengthened, though if time permitted 

\ might indefinitely increase its quantity, compels you 

( believe that the earth, &om the time of the chiUk 

I the present day, has been the theatre of a series of 

ages as vast in their amount, as they were slow in 

sir progress. The area on which we stand has been 

, sea and then land, for at least four alternations ; 

ind has remained in each of these conditions for a 

ciod of great length. 




Nor have these wonderful metamorphoses of sea into 
land, and of land into sea, been confined to one cornet 
of England. During the chalk penod, or " cretaceona 
epoch," not one of the present great physical features c 
the globe was in existence. Our great mountain ranges 
Pyrenees, Alps, Himalayas, Andes, have all been up- 
heaved since the chalk was deposited, and the cretaceoiu 
sea flowed over the sites of Sinai and Ararat. 

All this is certain, because rocks of cretaceous, or still 
later, date have shared in the elevatory movementi 
which gave rise to these mountain chains ; and may 
be found perched up, in some eases, many thousand 
feet high upon their flanks. And evidence of equal 
cogency demonstrates that, though, in Norfolk, thfl 
forest-bed rests directly upon the chalk, yet it does 80; 
not because the period at which the forest grew i 
diately followed that at which the chalk was formed* 
but because an immense lapse of time, represented 
elsewhere hj thousands of feet of rock, is not indicated 
at Cromer. 

I must ask you to believe that there is no less con- 
clusive proof that a still more prolonged succession dl 
similar changes occurred, before the chalk was deposited. 
Nor have we any reason to think that the first term i 
the series of these changes is known. The oldest s 
beds preserved to us are sands, and mud, and pebble% 
the wear and tear of rocks which were formed in stiS 
older oceans. 

But, great aa is the magnitude of these physical 
changes of the world, they have been accompanied I 
a no less striking eeries of modifications in its living 


!1 the great classes of animals, beasts of the field, 
i of the ail', creeping things, and things which dwell 
;he waters, flourished upon the globe long ages before 
! chalk was deposited. Very few, however, if any, of 
see ancient fonus of animal life were identical with 
lose which now live. Certainly not one of the higher 
limals was of the same apeciea as any of those now in 
istence. The beasts of the field, in the days before 
the chalk, were not our beasts of the field, nor the fowls 
of the air such as those which the eye of men has seen 
flying, unless his antiquity dates infinitely further back 
than we at present surmise. If we could be carried 
back into those times, we should be as one suddenly 
set down in Australia before it was colonized. We 
should see mammals, birds, reptiles, fishes, insects, 
snails, and the like, clearly recognisable as such, and 
yet not one of them would be just the same as those 
with which we are familiar, and many would be ex- 
tremely different 

From that time to the present, the population of the 
world has undergone slow and gradual, but incessant, 
changes. There has been no grand catastrophe — no 
destroyer has swept away the forma of life of one 
period, and replaced them by a totally new creation ; 
but one species has vanished and another has taken 
its place ; creatures of one type of structure have 
diminished, those of another have inci-eased, as time 
has passed on. And thus, while the diflerences between 
the living creatures of the time before the chalk and 
those of the present day appear startling, if placed 
side by side, we are led from one to the other by the 
r moat gradual progress, if we follow the course of NatUTftj 

through the whule sBiiea of those rt-Ut-'s of her ojwratitins 
which ehe bits left behiutL 

Auil it ia by the population of the ehalk sea that the 
aticient and the Diodem iuliabitauts of the world are 
most eompletely connected. The groupa which are 
dying out flourish, side by side, with the groups wliicb 
are now the dominant forms of life. 

Thus tlie ehidk contains remains of those strange 
flying and swimmiug ivptiles, the pterodactyl, the ich- 
thyosaurus, and the i)leaiosaui'Us, whieh are found in no 
later deposits, but abounded in preceding ages. The 
chambered shells called ammonites and belemnitea, 
which are so cUaracteiiatic of the period pi-eceding the 
cretaceous, in like manner die with itv 

But, amongst tlicse fading remaindera of u previous- 
state of things, are some very modern forma of life, 
looking like Yankee pedlars among a tribe of Red 
Indians. Crocodiles of modern type appear ; bony 
fishes, many of them very similar to existing specie^ 
almost supplant the forms of fish whieh predominate 
iu more ancient seas; and many kinds of living shell- 
fish firat become known to us in the ehalk. The vege- 
tation acquires a modern aspect. A few living animaU 
axe not even distinguishable as species, fi'om those which 
existed at that remote epoch. The Ghhlgerlrnt of the 
present day, for example, is not different spticifically 
from that of the chalk ; and tlie same may be said 
of many otlier Foramini/era. I think it probable that 
critical and unprejudiced examination will show that 
more than one species of much higher iuiinials have had 
a similar longevity ; but the only esaraplc whieh f can 
^ present give confidently ia the snake's-head lamp- 



shell {Terehrattilimt caput serpenti:!), which lives in 
o»ir English seas and abounded (as Tei-ebixitulina striata 
of authors) in the chalk. 

The longest line of human ant-estry must hide its 
diminished head, before the pedigree of this insignificant 
shell-fish. We Englishmen are proud to have an an<restor 
who was present at tlie Battle of Hastings. The an- 
cestors of Terehratulina caput seipentis may have been 
present at a battle of Ichthyosauria in that part of the 
sea which, when the chalk was forming, flowed over tlie 
site of Hiistings. While all around has changed, this 
Terebratidina has peacefully propagated its species from 
generation to generation, and stands to this day, as a 
living testimony to the continuity of the present with 
the past history of the globe. 


Up to this moment I have stated, so far as I know, 
nothing but well-authenticated facts, and the immediate 
conclusions which thcj force upon the mind. 

But the mind is so constituted that it does not 
willingly rest in facts and immediate causes, but seeks 
always after a knowledge of the remoter links in the 
of causation. 

Taking the many changes of any given spot of the 
earth's surface, from sea to land and from land to sea, 
as an established fact, we cannot refram from asking 
ourselves how these changes have occurred. Aiid when 
we have explained them — as they must be explained 
— by the alternate slow movements of elevation 
and depression which have affected the crust of the 
earth, we go still further back, and ask. Why these 
vcmenta ? 



^■i il,' 


I am not certain that any one can ghre you a satid- 
factoiy answer to that question. Assoiedlv I cannot. 
All that can be said, for certain, is, that sach movements 
are part of the ordinary course of nature, inasmuch as 
they are going on at the present time. Direct proof 
may be given, that some parts of the land of the 
northern hemisphere are at this moment insensibly rising 
and others insensibly sinking ; and there is indirect, but 
perfectly satisfactory, proof, that an enormous area now 
covered by the Pacific has been deepened thousands of 
feet, since the present inhabitants of that sea came into 

Thus there is not a shadow of a reason for believing 
that the physical changes of the globe, in past times, 
have been effected by other than natural causes. 

Is there any more reason for believing that the 
concomitant modifications in the forms of the living 
inhabitants of the globe have been brought about in 
other ways? 

Before attempting to answer this question, let us try 
to form a distinct mental picture of what has happened 
in some special case. 

The crocodiles are animals which, as a group, have a 
very vast antiquity. They abounded ages before the 
chalk was deposited ; they throng the rivers in warm 
climates, at the present day. There is a diflFerence in 
the form of the joints of the back-bone, and in some 
minor particulars, between the crocodiles of the present 
epoch and those which lived before the chalk ; but, in 
the cretaceous epoch, as I have already mentioned, the 
crocodiles had assumed the modem type of structure. 
Notwithstanding this, the crocodiles of the chalk are 


not identically the same aa those which lived in the 
times called " older tertiary," which succeeded the cre- 
taceous epoch ; and the crocodiles of the older tertiariea 
are not identical with those of the newer tertiaries, nor 
are these identical with existing forms. I leave open 
the question whether particular species may have lived 
on from epoch to epoch. But each epoch has had its 
peculiar crocodiles ; though all, since the chalk, have be- 
longed to the modem type, and differ simply in their 
proportions, and in such structural particulars aa are 
discernible only to trained eyes. 

How is the existence of this long succession of dif- 
ferent species of crocodiles to be accounted for \ 

Only two suppositions seem to be open to us — -Either 
each species of crocodile has been specially created, or it 
has arisen out of some pre-existing form by the opera- 
tion of natural causes. 

Choose your hypothesis ; I have chosen mine. I can 
find no warranty for believing in the distinct creation of 
a score of successive species of crocodUea in the course of 
countless ages of time. Science gives no countenance 
to such a wild fancy ; nor can even the per\'er8e 
ingenuity of a commentator pretend to discover this 
sense, in the simple words in which the writer of 
Genesis records the proceedings of the fifth and sixth 
■days of the Creation. 

' On the other hand, I see no good reason for doubting 
the necessary alternative, that all these varied species 
have been evolved from pre-existing crocodilian forms, 
by the operation of causes as completely a part of the 
common order of nature, as those which have effected 
the changes of the inorganic world. 


Few will venture to affirm that the reasoning which 
applies to crocodiles loses its force among other animals, 
or among plants. K one series of species has come into 
existence by the operation of natural causes, it seems 
folly to deny that all may have arisen in the same way. 

A small beginning has led us to a great ending. If I 
were to put the bit of chalk with which we started into 
the hot but obscure flame of burning hydrogen, it would 
presently shine like the sun. It seems to me that this 
physical metamorphosis is no false image of what has 
been the result of our subjecting it to a jet of fervent, 
though nowise brilliant, thought to-night It has become 
luminous, and its clear rays, penetrating the abyss of 
the remote past, have brought within our ken some stages 
of the evolution of the earth. And in the shifting 
'* without haste, but without rest " of the land and sea, 
as in the endless variation of the forms assumed by 
living beings, we have observed nothing but the natural 
product of the forces originally possessed by the sub- 
stance of the universe. 


Merchants occasionally go through a wholesome, though 
troublesome and not always satisfactory, process which 
they t«nn "taking stock." After all the excitement of 
speculation, the pleasure of gain, and the pain of loss, 
the trader makes up his mind to face facts and to 
learn the exact quantity and quality of his solid and 
rcliahle possessions. 

The man of science does well sometimes to imitate 
this pro(^edure ; and, forgetting for the time the import- 
ance of his own small winnings, to re-examine the 
common stock in trade, so that he may make sure how 
far the stock of bullion in the collar — on the faith of 
whose existence so much paper has been circulating — 
is really the solid gold of truth. 

The Anniversary Meeting of the Geologicfil Society 
iccms to bo an occasion well suited for an undertaking 
if this kind — for an inquiry, in fact, into the nature and 
aJuo of tho present results of palreontologiral investi- 
ition * AO*^ ^^^ more so, as all those who have paid 
attention to the late multitudinous discussions 


in wliicb palseontology is implicated, must have felt 
the urgent necessity of some such scrutiny. 

First in order, as the most definite and xmqnestionable 
of all the results of palseontology, must l»e mentioned 
the immense extension and impulse given to botany, 
zoology, and comparative anatomy, by the investigation 
of fossil remains. Indeed, the mass of biological facta 
has been so greatly increased, and the range of biological 
speculation has been so vastly widened, by the researches 
of the geologist and palseontologist, that it is to be feared 
there are naturalists in existence who look upon geology-' 
as Brindley regarded rivers. " Rivers," said the great, 
engineer, " were made to feed canals ; " and geology;: 
some seem to think, was solely created to advance com 
parative anatomy. 

Were such a thought justifiable, it could hardly expect 
to be received with favour by this assembly. But ; 
is not justifiable. Your favourite science has her ow 
great aims independent of all others ; and if, notwith- 
standing her steady devotion to her own progress, f 
can scatter such rich alms among her sisters, it should 
be remembered that her charity is of the sort thA 
does not impoverish, but " blesseth him that givea t 
him that takes." 

Regard the matter as we will, however, the fact! 
remain. Nearly 40,000 species of animals and plantl 
have been added to the Systema Naturae by palaeonto- 
logieal research. This is a living population equivalent 
to that of a new continent in mere number ; equivalent- 
to that of a new hemisphere, if we take into account t 
small population of insects as yet found fossil, and t 


large proportion and peculiar organization of many of 
the Vertcbrata. 

But, beyond this, it ia perhaps not too much to say 
that, except for the neeeasity of interpreting palseonto- 
logical facts, the laws of distribution would have received 
less careful study ; while few comparative anatomists 
(and those not of the first order) would have been 
induced by mere love of detail, as such, to study the 
minutiffi of osteology, were it not that in such minutiae 
lie the only keys to the most interesting riddles offered 
by the extinct animal world. 

These assuredly are great and solid gains. Surely it 
is matter for no small congratiUation that in half a cen- 
tury (for paljeontology, though it dawned earher, came 
into full day only with Cuvier) a subordinate branch of 
biology should have doubled the value and the interest 
of the whole groap of sciences to which it belongs. 

But this is not all. Allied with geology, palfeon- 
tology has established two laws of inestimable import- 
ance : the first, that one and the same area of the earth's 
surface has been successively occupied by very different 
kinds of living beings ; the second, that the order of 
succession established in one locality holds good, approxi- 
mately, in ah. 

The first of these laws is universal and irreversible; 
the second is an induction from a vast number of 
observations, though it may possibly, and even pro- 
bably, have to admit of exceptions. As a consequence 
of the second law, it follows that a peculiar relation 
frequently subsists between series of strata, containing 
organic remains, in different localities. The series 
resemble one emother, not only in virtue of a generftl 



resemblance of the organic remains in the two, but 
also !n virtue of a resemblance in the order and 
character of the serial succession in each. There 
resemblance of arrangement ; so that the separate tei 
of each series, as well as the whole series, exhibit 

Succession implies time ; the lower members of 
series of sedimentary rocks are certainly older ths 
the upper ; and when the notion of age was on< 
introduced as the equivalent of succession, it was i 
wonder that correspondence in succession came to \ 
looked upon as correspondence in age, or "contem- 
poraneity," And, indeed, so long as relative age onl] 
is spoken of, correspondence in succession is correspon 
dence in age ; it is relative contemporaneity. 

But it would have been very much better for geolog] 
if so loose and ambiguous a word as " contemporaneous' 
had been excluded from her terminologj-, and if, in it 
stead, some term expressing similarity of serial relation 
and excluding the notion of time altogether, had bea 
employed to denote correspondence in position in twi 
or more series of strata. 

In anatomy, where such correspondence of positicB 
has constantly to be spoken of, it is denoted by thi 
word "homology" and its derivatives ; and for Geology 
(which after all is only the anatomy and physiology) 
of the earth) it might be well to invent some single 
word, such as "homotaxis" (similarity of order), ii 
order to express an essentially similar idea. This, how- 
ever, has not been done, and most probably the inqniiy 
will at once be made — To what end burden science with 


\ new and strange term in place of one old, familiar, 
and part of our common language ? 

The reply to this question will become obvious as 
the inquiry into the results of palieontology is pushed 

Those whose business it is to acquaint themselves 
specially witli the works of palEeontologists, in fact, 
will be fully aware that very few, if any, would rest 
satisfied with such a statement of the concluaiona of 
their branch of biology as that which has just been 

Our standard repertories of paljeontology profess to 
teach us far higher things^to disclose the entire suc- 
cession of living forms njwn the surface of the globe ; 
to tell US of a wholly different distribution of climatic 
conditions in aneicnt times ; to reveal the character 
of the first of all living existences ; and to trace out 
be law of progress from them to us. 
It may not be unprofitable to bestow on these pro- 
Bions a somewhat more critical examination than 
tJiey have hitherto received, in order to ascertain how 
far they rest on an irrefragable basis ; or whether, after 
^bU, it might not Ije well for palteontologista to leam 
^B little more carefully that scientific " ars artiuni," the 
^■rt of saying "I don't know." And to this end let 
^Bg define somewhat more exactly the extent of these 
^pbetensions of palffiontology. 

Every one is aware that Professor Bronn's " Unter- 

suchungen" and Professor Pictet's "Traits de Pal^ou- 

tologie " are works of standard authority, familiarly 

consulted by every working palieontologist. It is desir- 

^jble to speak of these excellent books, and of their 

EB h 


(lintinguiKhed authors, with the utmost respect, aad in 
a X/mft a.s far a« possible removed from carping criticism ; 
indeed, if they are specially cited in this place, it is 
merely in justification of the assertion that the follow- 
ing pro|x>sitions, which may be found implicitly, or 
explicitly, in the works in question, are regarded by 
the; mass of palaeontologists and geologists, not only 
on the (Jontiuent but in this country, as expressing 
some of the best-established results of palaeontology. 
Thus :— 

Animals and plants began their existence together, 
not long after the commencement of the deposition of 
the s(5dimentary rocks ; and then succeeded one another, 
in such a manner, that totally distinct faunae and florae 
occupied the whole surface of the earth, one after the 
other, and during distinct epochs of time. 

A geological formation is the sum of all the strata 
d(»p()8itcd over the whole surface of the earth during 
one of these epochs : a geological fauna or flora is the 
sum of all the species of animals or plants which 
occupied the whole sxirface of the globe, during one 
of those epochs. 

Tlu^ population of the earth's surface was at first 
viTy similar in all parts, and only from the middle of 
the Tertiary epoch onwards, began to show a distinct 
distribution in zones. 

The constitution of the original popidation, as wdl 
aa the numerical proportions of its members, indicates 
a wai-mor and, on the whole, somewhat tropical climate, 
which remained tolerably equable throughout the year. 
The subsequent distribution of living beings in zones 
is the result of a gradual lowering of the general 


temperature, which first begau to be felt at the 

It 18 not now proposed to inquire whether these 
doctrines are true or false ; but to direct your atten- 
tion to a much simpler though very essential preliminary 
question— \\'Tiat is their logical basis ? what are the 
fundamental assumptions upon which they all logically 
depend ? and what is the evidence on which those 
fimdamental propositions demand our assent ? 

These assumptions are two : the first, that the com- 
mencement of the geological record is coeval with the 
commencement of life on the globe ; the second, that 
geological contemporaneity is the same thing as chrono- 
logical synchrony. Without the fii-st of these assump- 
L^ona there would of course be no ground fur any 
Bittatement respecting the commencement of life ; with- 
out the second, all the other statements cited, eveiy 
one of which implies a knowledge of the state of 
different parts of the earth at one and the same time, 
HArill be no less devoid of demonstration. 
^* ■ The first assumption obviously rests entirely on 
negative evidence. This is, of course, the only evidence 
that ever can be available to prove the commencement 
of any series of phienomena; but, at the same time, 
it must be recollected that the value of negative 
evidence depends entirely on the amount of positive 
corroboration it receives. If A. B. wishes to prove an 
alibi, it is of no use for him to get a thousand witnesses 
simply to swear that they did not see him in such 
and such a place, unless the witnesses arc prepared 
,to prove that they must have seen him had he been 

Lica J 

red I 

een B 


there. But the evidence that auimal life eommeuced- 
with the Lingula-flags, e. g., would seem to be exactly 
of this unsatisfactory uncorroborated sort. The Cam- 
brian witnesses simply ewcar they " haven't seen any- 
body their way;" upon which the counsel for the 
other side immediately puts in ten or twelve thousand 
feet of Devonian sandstones to make oath they never 
saw a fish or a mollusk, though all the world knowf 
there wore plenty in their time. 

But then it is urged that, though the Devonian 
rocks in one part of the world esMbit no fossils, in 
another they do, while the lower Cambrian rocks no- 
where exhibit fossils, and hence no living being eould 
have existed in their epoch, i 

To this there are two replies : the first, that thti 
observational basis of the j^saertion that tho lowest 
roeka are nowhere fosailiferous is an amazingly small < 
one, seeing how very small an area, in comparison tQ< 
that of the whole world, has yet been fully eeai'ched ; 
the second, that the argument is good for nothing unlea*' 
the unfossiliferous rocks in question were not only < 
contemjioramous in the geological sense, but synchronout- 
in the chronological sense. To use the alibi illuatratloD 
again. If a man wishes to prove he was in neither 
of two places, A and B, ou a given day, his witnesaea 
for each place must be prepared to answer for tl 
whole day. If they can only prove that he waa 
at A in the morning, and not at B in the aftomooa,' 
the evidence of his absence from both is nil, becaut 
be might have been at B in the morning and at A 
the afternoon. 

a everything depends upon the validity 


second asaumption. And we must proceed to inquire 
what is the real meaning of the word " contemporaneous" 
as employed by geologists. To this end a concrete 
example may be taken. 

The Lias of England and the Lias of Germany, the 
Cretaceous rocks of Britain and the Cretaceous rocks 
of Southern India, are tenncd by geologists " contem- 
poraneous" formations ; but whenever any thoughtful 
geologist is asked whether he means to say that they 
were deposited synchronously, he says, " No, — only 
within the same great epoch." And if, in pursuing 
the inquiry, he ia asked what may be the approximate 
value in time of a "great epoch" — whether it means 
a hundred years, or a thousand, or a million, or ten 
million years^his reply is, " I cannot tell." 
L If the further question be put, whether physical 
H geology ia in possession of any method by which the 
actual synchrony (or the reverse) of any two distant 
deposits can be ascertained, no such method can be 
heard of; it being admitted by all the best authorities 
that neither similarity of mineral composition, nor of 
physical character, nor even direct continuity of stratum, 
are absolute proofs of the synchronism of even approxi- 
mated sedimentary stiuta : while, for distant deposits, 
there seems to be no kind of physical evidence attain- 
able of a nature competent to decide whether such 
deposits were formed simultaneously, or whether they 
possess any given difference of antiquity. To return 
to an example already given. All competent authorities 
win probably assent to the proposition that physical 
geology does not enable us in any way to reply to 
this question — Were the British Cretaceous rocks depo- 

sited at the same time as those of India, or are they a 
million of years younger or a million of years older ? 

Ib palaeontology able to succeed where physical 
geology fails 1 Standard writers on palgeontology, as 
has been seen, assume that she can. They take it for 
granted, that de^wsits containing similar organic i-emains 
are synchronous — at any rate in a broad sense ; and 
yet, those who will study the eleventh and twelfth 
chapters of Sir Henry De la Beche's remarkable "fie- 
searches in Theoretical Geology," published now nearly 
thirty years ago, and will carry out the arguments 
there most luminously stated, to their logical conse- 
quences, may very easily convince themselves that 
even absolute identity of organic contents is no proof 
of the synchrony of deposits, while absolute diversity 
is no proof of difference of date. Sir Henry De la 
Beche goes even further, and adduces conclusive evidence 
to show that the different parta of one and the same 
stratum, having a aimilar composition throughout, con- 
taining the same organic remains, and having similar 
beds above and below it, may yet differ to any con- 
ceivable extent in age. 

Edward Forbes was in t^ie habit of asserting that 
the similarity of the organic contents of distant forma- 
tions was primit facie evidence, not of their similarity, 
but of their difference of age ; and holding es he did 
the doctrine of single specific centres, the conclusion 
was as legitimate as auy other; for the two districts 
must have been occupied by migi'ation from one of the 
two, or from au intermediate spot, and the chances 
against exact coincidence of migration and of imbedding 
are infinite. 


fe point of fact, however, whether _the hypothesis 
single or of multiple specific centres be adopted, 
lilarity of organic contents cannot possibly afford 

t proof of the synchi'ony of the deposits which 
in them; on the contrary, it is demonstrably 
opatible with the lapse of the moat prodigious 
ervals of time, and with interposition of vast changes 
the organic and iuorganie worldsj between the epocha 
which such deposits were formed. 
On what amount of similarity of their faunae is the 
;trine of the contemporaneity of the European and 
the North American Silurians based ? In the last 
ition of Sir Charles Lycll's " Elementary Geology" 
is stated, on the authority of a former President of 
fl Society, the late Daniel Shari>c, that between 
jUld 40 per cent, of the species of Silurian Molluaca 
eommon to both sides of the Atlantic. By way 
JQe allowance for further discovery, let us double 
lesser number and suppose that 60 per cent, of 
species are common to the North American and 
F British Silurians. Sixty per cent, of species in 
bnon is, thou, proof of contemporaneity. 
Now suppose that, a million or two of years hence, 
leu Britain has made another dip beneath the sea 
d has come up again, some geologist apjiMes this 
ctrine, in comparing the strata laid bare by the 
iheaval of the bottom, say, of St, George's Channel 
ith what may then remain of the Suffolk Crag, 
tasoning in the same way, he will at once decide 
ft-^ Suffolk Crag and the St. George's Channel beds 
Bie contemporaneous ; although we happen to know 
■ a vast period (even in the geological senae) of 


time, and physical eharigea of almost unprccedentei 
extent, separate the two. 

But if it be a demonstrable fact that strata 
taining more than 60 or 70 per cent, of species of i 
Mollusca iu common, and comparatively close together, 
may yet be sepai'ated by an amount of geological time 
sufficient to allow of some of the greatest physical 
changes the world has seen, what becomes of that 
sort of contemporaneity the sole evidence of which 
18 a eimilarity of facies, or the identity of half a dozen 
species, or of a good mtmy genera? 

And yet there ia no better c^'idence for the contem* 
poraneity assumed by all who adopt the bypotheses 
of universal faunae and florae, of a universally unifoni 
climate, and of a sensible cooling of the globe durinj 
geological time. 

Thei-e seems, then, no escape from the admission thil 
neither physical geology, nor palreontology, p( 
any method by which the absolute synchronism of twi 
strata can bo demonatrated. All that geology 
prove is local order of succession. It is mathematically 
certain that, in any given vertical linear section of t 
undisturbed series of sedimentary deposits, the beC 
which lies lowest is the oldest. In any other vertia 
linear section of the same aeries, of course, correapondin 
beds will occur in a similar order ; but, however greid 
may be the probability, no man can say with absoluti 
certainty that the beds in the two sections were ayn 
chronously deposited. For areas of moderate extenij 
it is doubtleas true that no practical evil is likely 1 
result from assuming the corresponding beda to 
synchronous or strictly contemporaneous ; and theM 


are multitudes of accessory circumstaucea which may 
fully justify the assumptiuQ of such syneliroiiy. But 
tiie moment the geologist bas to deal with liirge areas, 
or with completely separated deposits, the mischief 
of coufuuiiding that " homotaxis" or " similarity of 
arrangement," which can be demonstrated, with "syn- 
chrony" or " identity of date," for which there is not 
a shadow of proof, under the one common term of 
" contemporaneity " becomes incalculable, and provea 
the constant source of gratuitous speculations. 

For anything that geology or palmontology arc able 
to show to the contrary, a Devonian fauna and flora 
iu the British Islands may have been contemporaneous 
with Silmiau life in North America, and with a Car- 
boniferous fauna and flora in Africa. Geographical 
provinces and zones may have been aa distinctly marked 
in the Pakeozoic epoch as at present, and those 
seemingly sudden appearances of new genera and species, 
which we ascribe to new creation, may be simple results 
of migration. 

It may be so ; it may be otherwise. In tlio present 
condition of our knowledge and of our methods, one 
verdict — "not proven, and not proveable" — must be 
recorded against all the grand hypotheses of the paleeon- 
tologist respecting the general succession of life on the 
globe. The order and nature of terrestrial hfe, as a 
whole, are open questions, Geology at present provides 
us with moat valuable topographical records, but she 
has not the means of working them up into a universal 
history. Is such a universal history, then, to be regarded 
aa unattainable ? Are all the grandest and most in- 
teresting problems which offer themselves to the 




geological student essentially insoluble? Is he in the 
position of a scientific Tantalus — doomed always tti 
thirst for a knowledge which he cannot obtain I Thf 
reverse is to be hoped ; nay, it may not be impossible 
to indicate the source whence help will come. 

In commencing these remarks, mention was made of 
the great obligations under which the naturalist lies to 
the geologist and paljeontologist. Assuredly the time 
will come when these obligations will be repaid tenfol 
and when the maze of the world's past history, throi 
which the pure geologist and the pm-e paheontologist 
find no guidance, will be securely threaded by the clue 
furnished by the naturalist. 

All who are competent to express an opinion on 
subject are, at present, agreed that the manifold varietieB 
of animal and vegetable form have not either come into 
existence by chance, nor result from capricious exertions 
of creative power; but that they have taken place in 
definite order, the statement of which order is w! 
men of science term a natural law. Whether such 
law is to be regarded as an expression of the mode 
operation of natural forces, or whether it is simply 
statement of the manner in which a supernatural po' 
has thought fit to act, is a secondaiy question, eo loi 
as the existence of tlie law and the possibility of il 
discovery by the human intellect are granted. But 
must be a half-hearted philosopher who, believing 
that possibility, and having watched the gigantic 8tri< 
of the biological sciences during the last twenty yeai 
doubts that science will sooner or later make this furtl 
step, so as to become possessed of the law of evolutic 
of organic forms — of the unvarying order of that 


cliain of causes and effects of wliich all organic forme, 
ancient and modern, are the links. And then, if ever, 

wo shall be able to begin to discuss, with profit, the 
questions respecting tlie commencement of life, and the 
nature of the successive populations of the globe, which 
80 many seem to think are already answered. 

Tlie preceding arguments make no particular claim to 
novelty : indeed tliey have been floating more or less 
distinctly before the minds of geologists for the last 
thirty years ; and if, at the present time, it has seemed 
desirable to give them more definite and systematic 
expression, it is because palaeontology is every day 
assummg a greater importance, and now requires to 
rest on a basis the firmness of which is thoroughly well 
assured. Among its fundamental conceptions, there 
must be no confusion between what is certain and 
what is more or less probable.' But, pending the 
construction of a surer foundation than palieontology 
now possesses, it may be instructive, assuming for the 
nonce the general correctness of the ordinary hj-pothesis 
of geological contemporaneity, to consider whether the 
deductions which are ordinarily drawn from the whole 
body of palaeontological facts are justifiable. 

^The evidence on which such conclusions are based is 
two kinds, negative and positive. The value of 
negative evidence, in connexion with this inquiry, has 
been so fully and clearly discussed in an address from 
the chair of this Society,'' which none of us have 

' " Le p!ii» KT&nd serviee qn'on puisse reodre ^ la science est d'y faire place 
^^jatte »Tant d'y rien coiwtrairo." — Cuvieb, 



forgotten, that nothing need at present be said about 
it ; the more, as the considerations which have been 
laid before you have certainly not tended to increasp 
your estimation of such evidence. It will be preferable 
to turn to the pOFdtive facts of palasontology, and to 
inquire what they t«ll us. 

We are all accustomed to speak of the number and ' 
the extent of the changes in the living population of 
the globe during geological time as something enormooB ; 
and indeed they are so, if we regard only the negative 
differences which separate the older rocks from the 
more modem, and if wc look upon specific and generic 
changes as great changes, which from one point of view 
they truly are. But leaving the negative differencea 
out of consideration, and looking only at the positive 
data furnished by the fossil world from a broader poini J 
of view — from that of the compamtivc anatomist wlioj 
has made the study of tho greater modifications 
animal form his chief business — a surprise of anothflfl 
kind dawns upon the mind ; and under this aspect tin 
nmallness of the total change becomes as astonishing s 
was its greatness under the other. 

There are two hundred known orders of plants ; of 
these not one is certainly known to exist exclusively 
in the fossil state. The wliole lapse of geological time- 
has as yet yielded not a single new ordinal type i 
vegetable structure.' 

The positive change in passing from the recent to t 

ancient animal world is greater, but still singula] 

small. No fossil animal is so distinct from those noM 

living as to require to bs arranged even in a separata 

> See Hooker's " Introductory Essaj to the Flon of Tsntuak," p. xsuL i 


class from those which contain exiating forms. It is 
only wlien we come to the orders, which may be 
roughly estimated at about a hundred and thirty, that 
we meet with fossil animals so distinct from those now 
living aa to require orders for themaelvea ; and these do 
not amount; on the moat liberal estimate, to more than 
about 1 per cent, of the whole. 

There is no certainly known extinct order of Protozoa ; 
there is but one among the Ccelenterata — that of the 
rugose corals; there is none among the Mollusca ; there 
are three, the Cyatidea, Blastoidea, and Edrioasterida, 
among the Echinoderms ; and two, the Trilobita and 
Euryjiterida, among the Crustacea ; making altogether 
five for the great sub-kingdom of Annulosa. Among 
Vertebrates there is no ordinally distinct fossil fish : 
there is only one extinct order of Amphibia — the Laby- 
rintbodonts; but there ore at least four distinct orders 
of Reptilia, viz. the lehthyosauria, Plesioaauria, Ptero- 
sauria, Dinosauria, and perhaps another or two. There 
is no known extinct order of Birds, and no certainly 
known extinct order of Mammals, the ordinal distinct- 
ness of the " Toxodontia " being doubtful. 

The objection that broad statements of this kind, after 
all, rest largely on negative evidence is obvious, but it 
has less force than may at first be supposed ; for, as 
might be expected from the circumstances of the case, 
we possess more abundant positive evidence regarding 
Fishes and marine Mollusks than respecting any other 
forms of animal life ; and yet these offer us, through the 
whole range of geological time, no species ordinarily 
distinct from those now living ; while the far less 
numerous class of Echinoderms presents three, and the 



Crustacea two, such orders, though none of these come 
down later than the Palseozoie age. Lastly, the Reptiliii 
present the extraordinary and exceptional phsenomenon 
of as many extinct as existing orders, if not more ; the 
four mentioned maintaining their eidstence from the 
Lias to the Chalk inclusive. 

Some years ago one of your Secretaries pointed oat 
another kind of positive palasontological evidence tend- 
ing towards the same conclusion — aflforded by the 
existence of what he termed "persistent types" of vege- 
table ajid of animal life.^ He stated, on the authority 
of Dr. Hooker, that there are Carboniferous plants which 
appear to be gcncrically identical with some now living ; 
that the cone of the Oolitic Araucaria is hardly distdii' 
guishable from that of an existing species ; that a tme 
Pinus appeal's in the Purl>ecks and a Juglans in the 
Chalk ; while, from the Bagshot Sands, a Banksia, the 
wood of which is not distinguishable from that of specie 
now living in Australia, had been obtained. 

Turning to the animal kingdom, he aflirmed the taba- 
lat« corals of the Silurian rocks to be wonderfully like 
those which now exist ; while even the families of the 
Aporosa were all represented in the older Mesozoic 

Among the MoUusca similar facts were adduced. 
Let it be borne in mind that Avicula, Mytilus, Chiton, 
Natica, Patella, Trochus, Discina, Orhicula, Lingula, 
Phynchtmelkt, and Nautilxis, all of which are existing 
genera, are given without a doubt as Silurian in the 

' See the alistmct of a Lecture "On the PeraiatflDt Types of Animal Lifii° 
in the " Notices of the Meetinga of the Royal Institution of Great Britain,' 
JniiB 3, 16Ei9, roL iii. p. l&l. 

last edition of " Siluria ; " while the highest forms of 
the highest Cephalopods are repreaeuted in the Lias by 
a genus, Belemnoteuthls, which presents the closest rela- 
tion to the existing LoUgo. 

The two highest groups of the Annulosa, the Insecta 
and the Araehnida, are represented in the Coal, either 
by existing genera, or by forms differing from existing 
genera in quite minor peculiarities. 

Turning to the Vertebrata, the only palEeozoic Elas- 
mobranch Fish of which we have any complete know- 
ledge is the Devonian and Carboniferous Pleuracanthus, 
which differs no more from existing Shai'ks than these 
do from one another. 

Again, vast as is the number of undoubtedly Ganoid 
fossil Fishes, and great as is their range in time, a large 
maas of evidence has recently been adduced to show that 
almost aU those respecting which we possess sufficient 
information, are referable to the same sub-ordinal groups 
as the existing Lepidostevs, Polyptet-us, and Sturgeon ; 
and that a singular relation obtains between the older 
and the younger Fishes ; the former, the Devonian 
Ganoids, being almost all members of the same sub-order 
as Polyptcrus, while the Mesozoic Ganoids are almost 
all similarly allied to Xcpidosteiis.^ 

Again, what can be more remarkable than the singular 
constancy of structure preserved throughout a vast period 
of time by the family of the Pycnodonts and by that 
of the true Ccelacanths ; the former persisting, with but 
insignificant modifications, from the Carboniferous to the 

' " Memoirs of the Geological Survej of the United Kingdom, — Decade x, 
Pteliminary Essay upon the SjBtenutic AimngemcDt of the Fishes of the 
Pevoniim Epoch," 


Tertiary rocks, inclusive ; the latter existing, witli b1 
less change, from the Carboniferous rocks to the C] 
inclusive ? 

Among Reptiles, the highest living group, that of the 
Croeotlilia, is represented, at the early part of the Mesozoic 
epoch, Ijy sijccies identical in the essential characters o£, 
their organization ivith those now living, and diifei 
from the latter only in such matters as the form of t] 
articular facets of the vertebral centra, in the extent 
to which the nasal passages are separated from tie 
I'avity of the month by bone, [ind in the proportions 
of the limbs. 

And e^-en as regards the Mammnlia, the scanty 
remains of Triassic and Oolitic species afford no founda- 
tion for the supposition that the organization of the 
oldest forms differed nearly so much from some of , those 
which now live as these differ from one another. 

It is needless to multiply these instances ; enough has 
been said to justify the statement that, in view of the 
immense diversity of known animal and vegetable forms, 
and the enormous lapse of time indicated by the accumu- 
lation of fossiliferous strata, the only circumstance to le 
wondered at is, not that the changes of life, as exhibite<i 
liy positive evidence, have been so great, but that ther 
have been so small. 

Be they great or small, however, it is desirable to 
attempt to estimate them. Let us, therefore, take e&^9 
great division of the animal world in succession, ai)^| 
whenever an order or a family can be shown to bsiN 
had a prolonged existence, let ns endeavour to ascertain 1 
how far the later meml>crs of the group differ from tlu 


earlier ones. If these later members, in all or in many 
cases, exhibit a certain amount of modification, the fact 
is, eo far, evidence in favour of a general law of change ; 
and, in a rough way, the rapidity of that change will be 
measured by the demonstrable amount of modification. 
On the other hand, it must be recollected that the 
absence of any modification, while it may leave the 
doctrine of the csistenee of a law of change without 
positive support, cannot possibly disprove all forms of 
that doctrine, though it may afford a sufficient refuta- 
tion of many of them. 

The Protozoa. — The Protozoa arc represented through- 
out the whole range of geological series, from the Lower 
Silurian formation to the present day. The most 
ancient forms recently made known by Ehrenberg are 
exceedingly like those which now exist : no one has 
ever pretended that the difference between any ancient 
and any modem Toraminifera is of more than generic 
value ; nor are the oldest Foraminifera either simpler, 
more embryonic, or less differentiated, than the existing 

The CtELENTEEATA. — The Tabulate Corals have existed 
from the Silurian epoch to the present day, but I am not 
aware that the ancient Ileliolites possesses a single mark 
of a more embryonic or less differentiated character, or 
less high organization, than the existing Ileliopora. As 
for the Aporose Corals, in what respect is the Silurian 
Pahsocyclus less highly organized or more enibrj'onic 
than the modern Fangia, or the Liassic Aporosa than 
the existing members of the same families ? 

The Mollusca. — In what sense is the living Wald- 
nmia less embryonic, or more specialized^^^^the 


palseozoic Sjnrifer ; or the existing lUiynchonella, Cm- 
nice, Discin(E, Lingulie, than the Silurian apecies of the 
same genera ? In what sense can Loligo or iSptruIa 
be said to be more speciaJized, or less embryonic, thau 
Beletnnites ; or the modern specieB of Lamcllibranch and 
Gasteropod genera, than the Silurian apeciea of the aame 
genera 1 

The Annulosa. — The Carboniferous Insecta and Arach- 
nida are neither less specialized, nor more embryonic, 
than those that now live, nor are the Liassic Cirripedia 
and Macrura ; while several of the Brachyura, which 
appear in the Chalk, belong to existing genera ; and 
none exhibit either an intermediate, or an embrj'onie, 

The Vebtebrata. — Among fishes I have referred to 
the CoelacanthLni (comprising the genera Ccelacanthus, 
Holophagus, Undina, and Macropoma) as affording an 
example of a persistent type ; and it is most remarkable 
to note the smallness of the differences between any of 
these fishes (affecting at most the proportions of the 
body and fins, and the character and sculpture of the 
scales), notwithstanding their enormous range in time. 
In all the essentials of its very peculiar structure, the 
Macropoma of the Chalk is identical with the Ceelacan- 
thus of the Coal. Look at the genus Lepidottis, again, 
persisting without a modification of importance from the 
Liassic to the Eocene formations, inclusive. 

Or among the Teleostei — in what respect is the Beryx 
of the Chalk more embryonic, or less differentiated, than 
Beryx lineaius of King George's Sound? 

Or to turn to the higher Vertebrata — in what sense 
are the Liassic Chelonia inferior to those which now 



ixiat? How are the Cretaceous Ichtbyosauria, Plcaio- 
sauria, or Pterosauria less embryonic, or more differ- 
entiated, species than those of the Lias ? 

Or lastly, in what circumstance ia the Pkascolotherium 
more embryonie, or of a more generalized type, than the 
modem Opossum ; or a Lophtodon, or a PalcBOtherium, 
tiian a modern Tapirus or Hyrax f 

These examples might be almost indefinitely multi- 
plied, but Burely they are sufficient to prove that the 
only safe and unquestionable testimony we can procure 
- — positive evidence — fails to demonstrate any sort of 
progressive modification towards a less embryonic, or leas 
generalized, type in a great many groups of animttls of 
long-continued geological existence. In these groups 
there is abundant evidence of variation — none of what 
is ordinarily understood as progression ; and, if the 
known geological record is to be regarded as even any 
considerable fragment of the whole, it is inconceivable 
that any theor}' of a necessarily progressive development 
can stand, for the numerous orders and families cited 
afford no trace of such a process. 

But it is a most remarkable fact, that, while the 
groups which have been mentioned, and many besides, 
exhibit no sign of progressive modification, there are 
others, coexisting with them, under the same conditions, 
in which more ca* less distinct indications of such a 
process seem to be traceable. Among such indications 
I may remind you of the predominance of Holostome 
Gasteropoda in the older rocks ae compared with that of 
SiphonoBtoroe Gasteropoda in the later. A case less open 
to the objection of negative evidence, however, ia that 
forded by the Tetrabranchiate Cephalopoda, the forms 


of the shells and of the septal sntuies exhibiting a 
certain increase of complexity in the newer genera. 
Here, however, one is met at once with the occurrence 
of Orthjcents and Baculiies at the two ends of the 
series, and of the feet that one of the simplest genera^ 
XautiluSy is that which now exists. 

The Crinoidea, in the abundance of stalked forms in 
the ancient formations as compared with their present 
rarity, seem to present us ^^dth a fair case of modification 
from a more embryonic towards a less embryonic con- 
dition. But then, on careful consideration of the facts, 
the objection arises that the stalk, calyx, and arms of 
the palaeozoic Crinoid are exceedingly different from the 
corresponding organs of a larval Comatula ; and it might 
M-ith perfect justice be argued that Actinocrinus and 
ExicalyptocrinuSy for example, depart to the full as 
widely, in one direction, from the stalked embryo of 
Comatula^ as Comatula itself does in the other. 

The EchiniJea, again, are frequently quoted as ex- 
hibiting a gradual passage from a more generalized to a 
more specialized type, seeing that the elongated, or oval, 
Spatangoids appear after the spheroidal Echinoids. But 
here it might be argued, on the other hand, that the 
spheroidal Echinoids, in reality, depart further from the 
general plan and from the embryonic form than the 
elongated Spatangoids do ; and that the peculiar dental 
apparatus and the pedicellarise of the former are marks 
of at least as great differentiation as the petaloid ambu- 
lacra and semitse of the latter. 

Once more, the prevalence of Macrurous before Bra- 
chyurous Podophthalmia is, apparently, a fair piece of 
evidence in favour of progressive modification in the 

same order of C'liistacea ; autl yet the case ^v^l[ not 
stEind much sifting, seeiug that the Macruroua Podoph- 
thalmia depart as far iu cue direction from the eommoB 
type of Podophthalmia, or from any embryonic con- 
dition of the Brachyura, as the Bi-achyura do in the 
other; uud that the midtUe terms between MaciTira 
and Brachyura — the Anomm-a — are little better 
represented iu the older Meaozoic rocks tlian the 
Brachyura arc. 

None of the cases of progressive modificatiou which 
arc cited from among the Invertebrata appear to me to 
have a foundation less open to criticism than these ; and 
if this be so, no careful reasouer would, 1 think, be in- 
clined to lay very great stress upon thetn. Among the 
A^'ertebrata, however, there are a few examples which 
appear to be far less open to objection. 

It is, in fact, true of several groups of Vertebrata 
which have lived through a considerable range of time, 
that the endoskeleton (more paiticularly the spinal 
column) of the older genera presents a less ossified, and, 
ao far, leas diffei-entiated, condition than that of the 
younger genera. Thus tlie Devonian Ganoids, though 
almost all members of the same sub-order as Polypterus, 
and presenting numerous important resemblances to the 
existing genus, which possesses biconcave vertebrae, are, 
for the most pai't, wholly devoid of ossified vertebral 
centra. The Meaozoic Lepidostcidai, again, have, at most, 
biconcave vertebne, while the existing Lcpidostcus has 
Salamandroid, opistliocceloua, vci-ti'brre. So, none of the 
Palieozoic Sharks have shown thoniaelves to be possessed 
of ossified vertebrae, while the majority of modem 

£8 possess such vertebi-ffi. A"ain, the moi-e ancient 


Crfx:odiiisL and Lacertilia hare reitebrae with the articohr 
faeeUi of their centra flattened or biconcaTe, while 
the modem members of the same gn>np hare them 
proccelouis. But the most remarkable examples of 
progresnve modification of the Tertel»ad ccdomn, in eor^ 
respondence with ge<Jogical age, are those afforded by 
the Pycnodonts among fish, and the LabjrinthodcmtB 
among Amphibia. 

The late able ichthyologist Heckel pointed ont the 
fact, that, while the Pycnodonts never possess true ver- 
tebral centra, they differ in the degree of expansion and 
extension of the ends of the bony arches of the vertebree 
npon the sheath of the notochord; the Carbonifeioas 
forms exhibiting hardly any such expansion, while the 
Mesozoic genera present a greater and greater develop- 
ment, untU, in the Tertiary forms, the expanded ends 
become suturally imited so as to form a sort of false ver- 
tebra. Hermann von Meyer, again, to whose luminous 
researches we are indebted for our present large know- 
ledge of the organization of the older Labyrinthodonts^ 
has proved that the Carboniferous Archegosaurus had 
very imperfectly developed vertebral centra, while the 
Triassic Mastodonsaw^^us had the same parts completely 

The regularity and evenness of the dentition of the 
Anoplotherium, as contrasted with that of existing 
Artiodactyles, and the assumed nearer approach of the 
dentition of certain ancient Carnivores to the typical 
arrangement, have also been cited as exemplifications of 

^ As tkiB Addii^ss is passiug through the {nress ^March 7, 1862), e^de^oi 
lios before me of the existence of a new Labyrinthodont (Phol%doffatUr\ 
Vom the Edinburgh eoal^eld, with well-ossified vertebral centra. 


a law of progressive development, but I know of no 
other cases baaed on positive evidence which are worthy 
of particular notice. 

What then does an impartial survey of the positively 
ascertained truths of paleontology testify in relation to 
the common doctrines of progressive modification, which 
suppose that modification to have taken place by a ne- 
cessary progress from more to less embryonic forms, or 
from more to less generalized types, within the limita of 
the period represented by the fossiliferous rocks ? 

It negatives those doctrines ; for it either shows us no 
evidence of any such modification, or demonstrates it to 
have been very slight; and as to the nature of that 
modifieatioD, it yields no evidence whatsoever that the 
earlier members of any long-continued group were more 
generalized in structure than the later ones. To a certain 
extent, indeed, it may be said that imperfect ossification 
of the vertebral column is an embryonic character ; 
tut, on the other haml, it would be extremely incor- 
rect to suppose that tlie vertebral columns of the older 
Vertebrata are in any sense embryonic in their whole 

Obviously, if the earliest fossiliferous rocks now known 
are coeval with the commencement of life, and if their 
contents give us any just conception of the nature and 
the extent of the earliest fauna and flora, the insig- 
nificant amount of modification which can be demon- 
strated to have taken place in any one group of animals, 
or plants, is quite incompatible with tlie hypothesis that 
all living ftwins are the results of a neccssaiy process of 
progressive development, entirely comprised within the 
--time represented by the fossiliferous rocla,.^ 


Contrariwise, any admissible hypothesis of progressive 
modification must be compatible with persistence with- 
out progression, through indefinite periods. And should 
such an hypothesis eventually be proved to be true, in 
the only way in which it can be demonstrated, viz. by 
observation and experiment upon the existing forms of 
life, the conclusion will inevitably present itself, that the 
Palaeozoic, Mesozoic, and Cainozoic faunae and florae, 
taken together, bear somewhat the same proportion to 
the whole series of living beings which have occupied 
this globe, as the existing fauna and flora do to them. 

Such are the results of palaeontology as they appear, 
and have for some years appeared, to the mind of an 
inquirer who regards that study sinaply as one of the 
applications of the great biological sciences, and who 
desires to see it placed upon the same sound basis as 
other branches of physical inquir}\ If the arguments 
which have been brought forward are valid, i>robably no 
one, in view of the present state of opinion, will be 
inclined to think the time wasted which has been spent 
upon their elaboration. 

1 geological Epeculation 

have bccotue 

"A great refon 

" It is quite certain tlint a groat miiitalie haa been nude, — tliat EritLiii 
popular geology at the present time is iu direct opposition to the priuciples 
of Natural PhiloBophy." ' 

In re\-iewiiig the course of geological thought during 
the past year, for the purpo,se of dLscoveriiig those 
matters to which I might most fitly direct your iittcntiuu 
in the Adtbcss which it now becomes my duty to deliver 
from the Presidential Chair, the two somewhat alarming 
sentences which I have just read, and which occur in 
an able and ixitcresting essay by an eminent natural 
philosopher, rose into such prominence before my mind 
that they eclipsed everything else. 

It surely is a matter of paramount importance for the 
British geologists (some of them very popular geologists 
too) here in solemn annual sessiou assembled, to inquhe 
whether the severe judgment thus passed upon them by 
so high an authority as Sir William Thomson is one to 


On Geologiciil Time. By Sir W. Thoiiis, 
tlogical Society of Gks^ow, vol. iii. 

I, LL.D. Trauaactioiia of tLo 


which they mast plead guiltv sans phrase, or whether 
they are pn^pared to say " not guilty/' and appeal far t 
reversal of the sentence to that hio^her court of educitol 
H^jientific opinion to which we are all amenable. 

As your attorney-general for the time being, I thofo^ 
1 rxiuld not do better than get up the case with a yiev 
of arl vising you. It is true that the charges brou^ 
fom'ard by the other side involve the consideration of 
matters quite foreign to the pursuits with which I u 
ordinarily occupied ; but, in that respect, I am only in 
the position which is, nine times out of ten, occupied bf 
counsel, who nevertheless contrive to gain their causefl^ 
mainly by force of mother-wit and common sense, aided 
by some training in other intellectual exercises. 

Nerved by such precedents, I proceed to put my 
pleading l)efore you. 

And the first question with which I propose to ded 
is, What is it to which Sir W. Thomson refers when k 
speaks of " geological speculation " and " British popnkr 

I find three, more or less contradictory, systems d 
geological thought, each of which might fairly enooj^ 
claim these appellations, standing side by side in BrittfE 
I shall call one of them Catastrophism, another USH 
FORMiTARiANiSM, the third Evolutionism ; and I ahd 
try briefly to sketch the characters of each, that you mff 
say whether the classification is, or is not, exhaustivcL 

By Catastrophism, I mean any form of geokgkd 
speculation which, in order to account for the phsenoiBai 
of geology, supposes the operation of forces dijSereiit i 
their nature, or immeasurably difierent in power, fffM 
those which we at present sec in action in the umwfBK 




jThe Mosaic cosmogony is, in this sense, catastrophic, 
iuse it assumes the operation of extra-natural power, 
doctrine of violent upheavals, dSbdcles, and cata- 
.s in general, is catastrophic, so far as it assumes 
these were brought about by causes which have 
no parallel. There was a time when catastrophism 
;ht, pre-emhiently, have claimed the title of " British 
tular geology;" and assuredly it has yet many ad- 
inta, and reckons among its supporters some of the 
it honoured members of this Society. 
ly Unifobmitarianism, I mean especially, the teach- 
of Hutton and of Lyell. 

"hat great, though incomplete work, " The Theory of 
Earth," seems to me to be one of the most remarkable 
itributiona to geology which is recorded in the annals 
science. So far as the not-living world is con- 
led, uniformitarianism lies there, not only in germ, 
in blossom and fi-uit. 

' one asks how it is that Hutton was led to entertain 
!W8 80 far in advance of those prevalent in his time, in 
le respects ; while, in others, they seem almost curi- 
ly limittid, the answer appears to me to be plain. 
Hutton was in advance of the geological speculation 
lis time, because, in the first place, he had amassed a 
store of knowledge of the facts of geology, gathered 
personal observation in travels of considerable extent; 
because, in the second place, he was thoroughly 
ed in the physical and chemical science of his day, 
thus possessed, as much as any one in his time 
I possess it, the knowledge which is requisite for 
just inteipretation of geological phtenomena, and the 
of thought which fits a man for scientific inquiry. 




It is to this thorough scientific training, that I ascribe 
Hiitton'e steady and persistent refusal to look to other 
causes than those now in operation, for the explanatioa 
of geological phEenomena. 

Thus he writes :— " I do not pretend, as he [M. de Luc] 
does in his theory, to describe the beginning of things. 
I take things such as I find them at present ; and 1 
from these I reason with regard to that which must ] 
have been." ^ 

And again: — ^" A theory of the earth, which has £«■■ 
object ti'uth, can have no i-ctrospect to that which had 
preceded the present order of the world ; for this order 
alone is what we have to reason upon ; and to reason 
without data is nothing but delusion. A theory, there- 1 
fore, which is limited to the actual constitution of thisj 
earth cannot lie allowed to proceed one step beyond t 
present order of things."^ 

And so cleai- is he, that no causes beside such as t 
now in operation are needed to account for the character 1 
and disposition of the components of the crust of the ' 
earth, that he says, broadly and boldly :■ — " . . . There 
is no part of the earth which has not had the same 
origin, so far as this consists in that earth being collected 
at the bottom of the sea, and afterwards produced, 
as laud, along with masses of melted substances, by the 
operation of mineral causes." ^ | 

But other influences were at work upon llutton beside ' 
those of a mind logical by Nature, and scientific by 
sound training ; and the pecxdiar turn which his specu- 
lations took seems to mc to be unintelligible, unless theso , 


■ Thp Theory of the Earth, vol. i. p. 173, rote. 
» IbiJ. p. 3(1. 


he taken into account. The arguments of the French 
astronomers and mathematicians, -wliicb, at the end of 
the last century, were held to demonstrate the existence 
of a compensating arrangement among the eelestial 
Iwdica, whereby all perturbations eventually reduced 
themselves to oscillations on each side of a mean po- 
sition, and the stability of the solar system was eecured^ 
had evidently taken strong hold of Hutton's mind. 

In those oddly constructed periods which seem to have 
prejudiced many persons against reading his works, but 
which arc full of that peculiar, if unattractive, eloquence 
which flows from mastery of the subject, Hutton says : — 

" We have now got to the end of our reasoning ; we 
liave no data further to conclude immediately from that 
which actually is. But we have got enough ; we have 
the satisfaction to find, that in Nature there is wisdom,, 
system, and consistency. For having, in the natural 
history of this earth, seen a succession of worlds, wc 
may from this conclude that there is a system in Nature ; 
in like manner as, from seeing revolutions of the planets, 
it is concluded, that there is a system by which they are 
intended to continue those revolutions. But if the suc- 
cession of worlds is established in the system of Nature, 
it is in vain to look for anything higher in the origin of 
the earth. The result, therefore, of this pliy.^ical inquiry 
is, that we find no vestige of a beginning, — no prospect 
of an end." ^ 

Yet another influence worked strongly upon Hutton. 

"kn most philosophers of hia age, he coquetted with 
^ose final causes which have been named barren virgins, 
ut which might bo more fitly termed the hclairai of 
' The Theory of the Etirth, toI. i. p. 200. 


phflosophy, so constantly have they led men astray. 
The final cause of the existence of the world is, for 
Button, the piodnction of life and intelligence. 

"We have now considered the glo^>e of this earth 
as a machine, constnicted upon chemical as well as 
mechanical principles, by which its different parts are aU 
adapted, in form, in quality, and in quantity, to a certain 
end ; an end attained with certainty or success ; and an 
end from which we may perceive wisdom, in contem- 
plating the means employed. 

" But is this world to be considered thus merely as a 
machine, to last no longer than its parts retain their 
present position, their proper forms and qualities % Or 
may it not be also considered as an organized body? 
such as has a constitution in which the necessary decay 
of the machine is naturally repaired, in the exertion of 
those productive powers by which it had been formed. 

" This is the view in which we are now to examine 
the globe ; to see if there be, in the constitution of this 
world, a reproductive operation, by which a ruined con- 
stitution may be again repaired, and a duration or 
stability thus procured to the machine, considered as a 
world sustaining plants and animals."^ 

Kirwan, and the other Philistines of the day, accused 
Hutton of declaring that his theory implied that the 
world never had a beginning, and never differed in 
condition from its present state. Nothing could be more 
grossly imjust, as he expressly guards himself against 
any such conclusion in the following terms: — 

" But in thus tracing back the natural operations 
which have succeeded each other, and mark to us the 

^ The Theory of the Earth, vol. L pp. 16, 17. 


Toui-se of time past, we come to a period in which we 
canuot see auy farther. This, however, is not the 
beginning of the operations which proceed in time and 
according to the wise economy of this world ; nor is it 
the establishing of that which, in the course of time, 
had no beginning ; it is only the limit of our retrospec- 
tive ■view of those operations ■whicli have come to pass 
in time, and have been conducted by supreme intel- 

I have spoken of Uniformitarianiam as the doctrine of 
Hutton and of Lyell. If I have quoted the older writer 
rather than the newer, it is because his works are little 
known, and his claims on our veneration too frequently 
forgotten, not liccause I desu'e to dim the fame of his 
eminent successor. Few of the present generation of geo- 
logists have read Plaj'fair's "Illustrations," fewer still the 
original "Theory of the Earth ;" the more is the pity ; 
but which of ua has not thumbed every page of the 
" Piinciples of Geologj' ? " I think that he who writes 
fairly the history of his own progress in geological 
thought, will not be able to separate his debt to Hutton 
from his obligations to Lyell ; and the history of the 
progress of individual geologists is the history of gcologj-. 

No one can doubt that the influence of uuiformitarian 
views has been enormous, and, in the main, most bene- 
ficial and favourable to the progress of sound geology. 

Ner can it be questioned that Uniformitarianiam has 
even a stronger title than Catastrophism to call itself the 
geological speculation of Britain, or, if you will, British 
popular geology. For it is eminently a British doctrine, 
and has even now made comparatively little progress 

' The Thporj of the Earlli, vol. i p. 223. 


on die conthyiit of EmopeL NercxdideaB it seems to 
me to be c^^i to askxis rritiriain up^m cme of its 

I have shown how nnjiist was the insmuatKHi that 
HuttcA denied a beginning to the wc»]d. But it would 
not be unjust to sa j that he persistently, in {ffactice, 
dint his eyes to the existence of that pii<^ and different 
state o( things which, in theoiy, he admitted ; and, in 
this aTersion to look beyond the veil of stratified rocks, 
Lyell follows him. 

Button and Lyell alike agree in their indisposition 
to carry their speculations a step beyond the period 
recorded in the most ancient strata now open to obser- 
vation in the cmst of the earth. This is, for Hutton, 
** the point in which we cannot see any &rther ; ** while 
Lyell tells us, — 

** The astronomer may find good reasons for ascribing 
the earth's form to the original fluidity of the mass, in 
times long antecedent to the first introduction of living 
beings into the planet ; but the geologist must be content 
to regard the earliest monuments which it is his task to 
interpret, as belonging to a period when the crust had 
already acquired great solidity and thickness, probably 
as great as it now possesses, and when volcanic rocks, 
not essentially differing fi'om those now produced, were 
formed from time to time, the intensity of volcanic heat 
being neither greater nor less than it is now." ^ 

And again, "As geologists, we learn that it is not only 
the present condition of the globe which has been suited 
to the accommodation of myriads of living creatures, but 
that many former states also have been adapted to the 

^ Principles of Geology, vol. ii. p. 211. 


organization and habits of prior races of beings. The 
disposition of the seas, continents and islands, and the 
climates, have varied ; the species likewise have been 
changed ; and yet they have all been so modelled, on 
types analogous to those of existing plants and animals, 
as to indicate, throughout, a perfect harmony of design 
and unity of purpose. To assume that the evidence of 
the beginning, or end, of so vast a scheme lies within 
the reach of our philosophical inquiries, or even of our 
speculations, appears to be inconsistent with a just 
estimate of the relations which subsist between the finite 
powers of man and the attributes of an infinite and 
eternal Being."' 

The limitations implied in these passages appear to 
me to constitute the weakness and tlie logical defect of 
uiiiformitarianism. No one will impute blame to Button 
that, in face of the imperfect coodition, in his day, of 
those physical sciences which furnish the keys to the 
riddles of geology, he should have thought it practical 
■wisdom to limit his theory to an attempt to account for 
" the present order of thiiigs ; " but I am at a loss to com- 
prehend why, for all time, the geologist must be content 
to regard the oldest fosailiferous rocks as the ultima 
TJiule of his science ; or what there is inconsistent with 
the relations between the finite and the infinite mind, in 
the assumption, that we may discern somewhat of the 
^beginning, or of the end, of this speck in space we call 
Bbbr earth. The finite mind is cei-tainly competent to 
^Race out the development of the fowl within the egg ; 
and 1 kuow not on what ground it should find more 
difficulty in unravelling the complexities of the devclop- 

^B, ' rdnciplea of Geolo;y, vol ii. p. 013. 



ment of the earth. In iact, as Kant has well remarked,' 
the cosmical process is really ampler than the biological. 

Thb attempt to limit, at a particular point, the progress 
of iadactjve and deductive reasoning from the thingi 
which are, to those which were — this faithlessness to ita' 
own logic, seems to me to hare cost Unifonnitarianism 
the place, as the permanent form of geological specula- 
tion, which it might otherwise have held. 

It remains that I should put before you what I 
onderstand to be the third phase of geological specula- 
tion — namely, Evolutionism. 

I shall not make what I have to say on this head 
clear, unless I diverge, or seem to diverge, for a whili^i 
from the direct path of my discourse, so far as to cxplaia 
what I take to be the scope of geology itself, I conceiv* 
geology to be the history of the earth, in precisely thft 
same sense as biology is the history of living beings 
and I trust you will not think that I am overpowered by 
the influence of a dominant pursuit if I say that I trace 
a clfjsc analogy between these two histories. 

If 1 study a living being, under what heads does th6 
knowledge I obtain fall % I can learn its structure, of 
what we call its Anatomy ; and its Developmeht, ot 
the series of changes which it passes through to acquire 
its complete structure. Then I find that the living 
being has certain powers resulting from its own acti- 
vities, and the interaction of these with the activities fA 

' " Mim dnrf m sidh ivlso nicbt befrentdeii lasseo, wenn icb mich nntanteki 
zu HAgen, duss eher dio Bildimg allcr Himmelakorper, die Uraadie 
BcwBguiijjen, kura der Urapruog der ganzen gegenwiirtigen Verfauuog dtt 
Waltbaucs wcrdca koaneii eingeeehea werden, che die Erzeugong c 
eiiuiigeD Krautea oder ciner Raupe aua m&chaniHchen Gninden, deullicfa 
TollBtindig kuiid werden ivird."— Kant's Simmtlidif Tf'crki, Bd, L p. S30l 


Other thinga — the knowledge of which is Physiology. 
Beyond this the living being has a position in space and 
time, which is its Distribution. All these form the 
body of ascertainable facts which constitute the status 
quo of the living creature. But these facts have their 
causes ; and the ascertainment of these causes is the 
doctrine of ^Etiology. 

If we consider what is knowable about the earth, we 
shall find that such earth-knowledge — if I may so trans- 
late the word geology — falls into the same categories. 

What is termed stratigraphical geology is neither more 
nor less than the anatomy of the earth ; and the history 
of the succession of the formations is the history of a 
succession of such anatomies, or corresponds -with deve- 
lopment, as distinct from generation. 

The internal heat of the earth, the elevation and 
depression of its crust, its belchings forth of vapours, 
ashes, and lava, are its activities, in as strict a sense, as are 
warmth and the movements and products of respiration 
the activities of an animal. The phienomena of the 
seasons, of the trade winds, of the Gtdf-stream, are as 
much the results of the reaction between these inner 
activities and outward forces, as are the budding of the 
leaves In spring and their falling in autumn the effects 
of the interaction between the organization of a plant 
and the solar light and heat. And, as the study of the 
activities of the living being is called its physiology, so 
are these phaenomena the subject-matter of an analogous 
telluric physiology, to which we sometimes give the 
name of meteorology, sometimes that of physical geo- 
graphy, sometimes that of geology. Again, the earth 
has a place in space and in time, and relations to other 

2^4 l^n^ iZ2Jr: J3t JJMRISSS, JSh sMmws. 


xzA du» 'iaisTKi? 'St ii? pimeQ ro tfiieir distances frwn 
tbe *?izi- fo'T the rC«!faLni!i&=s of dieir orbits, for their 
rocatis:ca- fo-r ^ir 5areIIiEcS. fee tfee seneral asreement 
m iL-e 'iiKt^tioti of rC'Ciri-:'?! among the celestial bodies, 
?>r Satnm** rins; and f^yc d^ 2>:'diacal light. He finds, 
in each .-r^ticni of irori'is, indicariois that the attractiTC 
force of the central mas will eTentnallT destroir its orga- 
riization. by concentrating upon itself the matter of the 
whole system ; bat, as the result of this concentration, 
he argues for the development of an amount of heat 
which will dissipate the mass once more into a molecular 
chaos such as that in which it began. 

E^t pictures to himself the universe as once an 
infinite expansion of formless and diffused matter. At 
one jioint of this he supposes a single centre of attraction 
set up ; and, by strict deductions from admitted dynamica 
principles, shows how this must result in the development 
of a prwligious central body, surrounded by systems of 
«olar and planetary worlds in all stages of development 
In vivid language he depicts the great world-maelstrom, 
widening the margins of its prodigious eddy in the slow 
progress of millions of ages, gradually reclaiming more 
and more of the molecular waste, and converting chaos 
into cosmos. But what is gained at the margin is lost 
in the centre; the attractions of the central systems 
bring their constituents together, which then, by the heat 
fivolvcd, are converted once more into molecular chaos. 
Thus the worlds that are, lie between the ruins of the 
worlds that have been and the chaotic materials of the 
worlds that shall be; and, in spite of all waste and 
destruction, Cosmos is extending his borders at the 
ezponse of Chaos. 


Kant's further application of his viewa to the earth 
itself is to be found in his " Treatise on Physical Geo- 
graphy"^ (a term under whicli the then unknown science 
of geology was included), a subject which ho had studied 
with very great care and on which he lectured for many 
years. The foui'th section of the first part of this 
Treatise is called " History of the great Changes which 
the Earth has formerly undergone and is stiU undergoing," 
;ind is, in fact, a bxief and pregnant essay upon the prin- 
ciples of geology. Kant gives an account first "of the 
gradual changes which are now taking place " under 
the heads of such aa are caused by earthquakes, such 
as are brought about by rain and rivers, such as are 
"effected by the sea, such as are produced by winds 
and frost ; and, finally, such as result fi-om the opera- 
tions of man. 

The second part is devoted to the " Memorials of the 
Changes which the Earth has undergone in remote an- 
tiquity." These are enumerated aa : — A. Proofs that 
the sea formerly covered the whole earth. B, Proofs 
that the sea has often been changed into diy land and 
then again into sea. C. A discussion of the various 
theories of the earth put forward by Schcuchzer, Moro, 
Bonnet, Woodward, White, Leibnitz, Liuneeus, and 

The third part contains an " Attempt to give a sound 
explanation of the ancient history of the earth," 

I suppose that it would be very easy to pick holes in 
the details of Kant's speculations, whether cosmological, 
or specially telluric, in their application. But, for all 
that, he seems to me to have been the first person to 

^— 1 Kanfs " Sammtliclie Werke," Bd. viii. p. \to. 


frame a complete ^stem of geological specoIatioiL by 
foanding the doctrine of evolution. 

With as much truth as Hutton, Kant could say, "I 
take things just as I find them at present, and, from 
these, I reason with regard to that which must have 
been," Like Hutton, he is never tired of pointing 
out that " in Nature there is wisdom, sj'Stem, and con- 
eiatency." And, as in these great principles, so in believ- 
ing that the cosmos has a reproductive operation "by 
which a ruined constitution may be repaired," he fore- 
staUa Hutton ; while, on the other hand, Kant is true to 
science. He knows no bounds to geological speculation 
but those of the intellect. He reasons back to a begin- 
ning of the present state of things ; he admits the posa- 
bility of an end. 

I have said that the three schools of geological specu- 
lation which I have termed Catastrophism, Unifomii- 
tarianiam, and Evolutionism are commonly supposed to 
be antagonistic to one another ; and I presume it will 
have become obvious that, in my belief, the last is 
destined to swallow up the other two. But it ia proper 
to remark that each of the latter has kept alive the tra- 
dition of precious truths. 

Catastrophism has insisted upon the existence of s 
practically unlimited bank of force, on which the theorist 
might draw ; and it has cherished the idea of the de- 
velopment of the earth from a state in which its form, 
and the forces which it exerted, were very different from 
those we now know. That such difference of form and 
power once existed is a necessary part of the doctrine of 

Uniformitabianisu, on the other hand, has with 


[ual justice insisted upon a practically unlimited bank 

time, ready to diacount any quantity of hypothetical 
iper. It has kept before our eyes the power of the 
finitely little, time being granted, and has compelled us 
I exhaust known causes, before flying to the unknown. 

To my mind there appears to be no sort of necessary 
leoretical antagonism, between Catastrophiam and Uni- 
rmitarianism. On the contrary, it is very conceivable 
lat catastrophes may be part and parcel of uniformity, 
et me illustrate my case by analogy. The working of 
clock is a model of uniform action ; good time-keeping 
eans uniformity of action. But the striking of the 
ock is essentially a catastrophe ; the hammer might be 
lade to blow up a barrel of gunpowder, or turn on a 
aluge of water ; and, by proper arrangement, the clock, 
istead of marking the hours, might strike at all sorts of 
regular periods, never twice alike, in the intervals, 
irce, or number of its blows. Nevertheless, all these 
regular, and apparently lawless, catastrophes would be 
le result of an absolutely uniformitarian action ; and 
e might have two schools of clock-theorists, one 
udying the hammer and the other the pendulum. 

Still less is there any necessary antagonism between 
ther of these doctrines and that of Evolution, which 
nbraces all that is sound in both Catastrophism and 

niformitarianism, while it rejects the arbitraiy assump- 
ons of the one and the, as arbitrary, limitations of the 
;her. Nor is the value of the doctrine of Evolution to the 
hilosophic thinker diminished by the fact that it applies 
le same method to the living and the not-living world ; 
id' embraces, in one stupendous analogy, the growth 
I a solar system from molecular chaos, the shaping 


of the earth from the nebulous cubhood of its youtfr,'* 
through innumerable changes and immeasurable ages, to 
its present form ; and the development of a living being 
from the shapeless mass of protoplasm we term a germ. 
I do not know whether Evolutionism can claim that 
amount of currency which would entitle it to be called 
British popular geology ; but, more or less vaguely, it is 
assuredly present in the minds of most geologists. 

Such being the three phases of geological speculati( 
we are now in a position to inquire which of these it 
that Sir "William Thomson calls upon ua to reform 
the passages wliich I have cited. 

It is obviously Uniformitarianism which the 
tinguished physicist takes to be the representative 
geological spectdation in general. And thus a 
issue is raised, inasmuch as many persons (and thi 
not the least thoughtful among the younger geologisl 
do not accept strict Uniformitarianism as the final foi 
of geological speculation. "We should say, if Huttoi 
and Playfair declare the course of the world to have 
been always the same, point out the fallacy by all means ; 
but, in so doing, do not imagine that you are provii 
modem geology to be in opposition to natural phii 
losophy. I do not suppose that, at the present daj 
any geologist would be found to maintain absoli 
Uniformitarianism, to deny that the rapidity of 
rotation of the earth vmy be diminishing, that the 
may be waxing dim, or that the earth itself may 
cooling. Most of us, I suspect, arc Gallios, " who care 
for none of these things," being of opinion that, true 
or fictitious, they have made no practical difference to 



earth, during the period of which a record is pre- 

ed in stratified deposits, 

I The accusation that we have been running counter to 

principles of natural philosophy, therefore, is devoid 

foundation. The only question which can arise is 

.ether we have, or have not, been tacitly making 

iiiinptions which are in opposition to certain con- 

tsioDS which may be drawn from those priDciples. 

id this question subdivides itself into two : — the first, 

we really contravening such conclusions ? the second, 

we are, are those conclusions so firmly based that we 

ly not contravene them ? I reply in the negative to 

[eth these questions, and I will give you my reasons 

> doing. Sir William Thomson believes that he 

able to prove, by phyaioal reasonings, " that the 

iting state of things on the earth, life on the earth 

geological history showing continuity of life — 

be limited within some such period of time as one 

idred million years " (loc. cit. p. 25). 

The first inquiry which .arises plainly is, has it evor 

n denied that this period may be enough for the 

rposes of geology 1 

The discussion of this question is greatly embarrassed 
the vagueness with which the assumed limit is, I 
not say defined, but indicated, — " some such period 
past time as one hundred million years." Now 
IS this mean that it may have been two, or three, or 
hundred million years 1 Because this really makes 
the difierencc.^ 

' Sir Willi&m Thomu}]i implies (loc cit. p. IG], that the precise time la 
I conseiiueuce : " tbe principle is the Bame ;" but, as the principle 
u ita practical results. 

admitted, the whale diacussion t; 



I presume that 1U0,000 feet may be taken as a fuU 
allowance for the total thickness of stratified rocks con- 
taming traces of life : 100,000 divided by 100,000,000 
= 0-001. Consequently, the deposit of 100,000 feet of 
stratified rock in 100,000,000 years means that tbu 
deposit has taken place at the rate of -njVff of * foot, or, 
say, bS of an inch, per annum. 

Well, I do not know that any one is prepared to main- 
tain that, even making all needfiil allowances, flie 
stratified rocks may not have been formed, on the 
average, at the rate of ^ of an inch per annum. 
I suppose that if such could be shown to be the 
limit of world-growth, we could put up with the 
allowance without feeling that our speculationa had 
undergone any revolution. And perhaps, after all, tie 
qualifjnng phitise " some such period " may not necefl- 
sitate the assumption of more than -riri or TTff> or -^i of 
an inch of deposit per year, which, of course, woulJ 
give us still more ease and comfort. 

But, it may be said, that it is biology, and not geologi'. 
■which asks for so much time — that the succession of 
life demands vast intervals ; but this appears to me to 
be reasoning in a circle. Biology takes her time from 
geology. The only reason we have for believing in tie 
slow rate of the change in living forms is the fact that 
they persist through a series of deposits which, geology 
informs us, have taken a long while to make. If the 
geological clock is wrong, all the naturalist will liavo to 
do is to modify his notions of the rapidity of change 
accordingly. And I venture to point out that, when we 
are told that the limitation of the period during which 
living beings have inhabited this planet to one, two. 



three hundred million ycara requires a complete revolu- 
tion in geological speculation, the onus probandl rests 
on the maker of the assertion, who brings forward not 
a shadow of evidence in its support 

Thus, if we accept the limitation of time placed before 
us by Sir W. Thomson, it is not obvious, on the face 
of the matter, that we shall have to alt«r, or reform, 
our ways in any appreciable degree ; and we may there- 
fore proceed with much calmness, and indeed much 
indifference, as to the result, to inquire whether that 
limitation is justified by the arguments employed in its 

These arguments are three in number :— 

I. The first is based upon the undoubted fact that the 
tides tend to retard the rate of the earth's rotation upon 
its axis. That this must be so is obvious, if one con- 
siders, roughly, that the tides result from the pull which 
the sun and the moon exert upou the sea, cauatng it to 
act as a sort of break upon the rotating solid earth. 

Kant, who was by no means a mere " abstract phUo- 
Bopher," but a good mathematician and well versed in 
the physical science of his time, not only proved this in 
an essay of exquisite clearness and intelligibility, now 
more than a century old.^ but deduced from it some of 
its more important consequences, such as the constant 
turning of one face of the moon towards the earth. 

But there is a long step from the demonstration of a 
tendency to the estimation of the practical value of that 

' " Unterauchung der Frage ob die Erde in ihrer Umdrehiing um die 
Achse, wodurch aie die Abwechsetusg dci Tuges und der Nnt^lit hervorbringt, 
ciniife VerandeTung seit den ersteu Zeiten ihren ITmprungcs eriitten habe, 
iC,"~KAST'B SUmmttiche Werkt, Bd. i. p. 178. 




tendency, which is all with which we are at pn 
concerned. The facts bearing on tH3 point appear 1 
stand as follow : — 

It is a matter of obsenation that the moon's mean 
motion is (and has for the last 3,000 years been) under- 
going an acceleration, relatively to the rotatiou of the- 
earth. Of course this may result from one of twi 
causes : the moon may really have been moving moi 
swiftly in its orbit ; or the earth may have been rotati 
more slowly on its axis. 

Laplace believed he had accounted for this phseiu 
menou by the fact that the ecccntricitj- of the earthW 
orbit has been diminishing throughout these 3,000 yeaiiT 
This would produce a diminution of the mean attraction 
of the sun on the moon ; or, in other words, an increase 
iu the attraction of the earth on the moon : and, con- 
sequently, an increase m the rapidity of the orbital 
motion of the latter body. Laplace, therefore, laid the j 
responsibility of the acceleration upon the moon ; audi 
if his views were correct, the tidal retardation mus^ 
either be insignificant in amount, or be countei-acted by 
some other agency. 

Our great astronomer, Adams, however, appears toj 
liave found a flaw in Laplace's calculation, and to haTi 
shown that only half the observed retardation could 1 
accounted for in the way he liad suggested. Thei 
remains, therefore, the other half to be accounted {ac^ 
and here, in the absence of all positive knowledge, three 
seta of hypotheses have been suggested. 

(a.) M, Delaunay suggests that the earth is at fault, in 
consequence of the tidal retardation. Messrs. Adams, 
Thomson, and Tait work out this suggestion, and. 



a certain assumption aa to the proportion of retardations 
due to the sun and the moon," find the earth may lose 
twenty-two seconds of time in a century from this cause,' 

(&.) But M. Dufour suggests tliat the retardation of the 
earth (which is hypothetically assumed to exist) may be 
due in part, or wholly, to the increase of the moment 
of inertia of the earth by meteors falhng upon its surface. 
This suggestion also meets with the entire approval of 
Sir W. Thomson, who shows that raeteor-dust, accumu- 
lating at the rate of one foot in 4,000 years, would 
account for the remainder of retardation,^ 

(c.) Thirdly, Sir W. Thomson brings forward an hypo- 
thesis of his own with respect to the cause of the hypo- 
thetical retardation of the earth's rotation :- — 

" Let us suppose ice to melt from the polar regions 
(20° round each pole, we may say) to tlie extent of 
something more than a foot thick, enough to give 1"1 
foot of water over those areas, or O'OOG of a foot of 
water if spread over the whole globe, which would, in 
reality, raise the sea-level by only some such undiscover- 
able difference as three-fourths of an inch or an inch. 
This, or the reverse, whinh we believe might happen any 
year, and could certainly not be detected without far 
more accurate observations and calculations for the mean 
sea-level than any hitherto made, would slacken or 
quicken the earth's rate as a timekeeper by one-tenth of 
a second per year."^ 

I do not presume to throw the slightest doubt upon 

the accuracy of any of the calculations made by such 

^-distinguished mathematicians as those who have made 

^febe suggestions I have cited. Ou the contrary, it is 

^B 1 Sir W, Thorowm, loc, cit, p. 14. * Loc cit, p. 27. ' Ibid. 


necessary to my argument to assume that they are all 
correct. But I desire to point out that this seems to be 
one of the many cases in which the admitted accuracy of 
mathematical processes is allowed to throw a w^hoUy 
inadmissible appearance of authority over the results 
obtained by them. Mathematics may be compared to a 
mill of exquisite workmanship, which grinds you stuff of 
any degree of fineness ; but, nevertheless, what you get 
out depends on what you put in ; and as the grandest 
mill in the world will not extract wheat-flour from 
peascods, so pages of formulae will not get a definite 
result out of loose data. 

In the present instance it appears to be admitted : — 

1. That it is not absolutely certain, after all, whether 
the moon's mean motion is undergoing acceleration, or 
the earth's rotation retardation.^ And yet this is the 
key of the whole position. 

2. If the rapidity of the earth's rotation is diminishing, 
it is not certain how much of that retardation is due to 
tidal friction, — how much to meteors, — how much to 
possible excess of melting over accumulation of pokr 
ice, during the period covered by observation, which 
amounts, at the outside, to not more than 2,600 years. 

3. The effect of a different distribution of land and 
water in modifying the retardation caused by tidal 
friction, and of reducing it, under some circumstance^ 
to a minimum, does not appear to be taken into 

4. During the Miocene epoch the polar ice was cei^ 
tainly many feet thinner than it has been during, or 

^ It will be understood that I do not wish to deny that the earth's lotttum 
may ht undergoing retardation. 

siuce, tbe Glacial epoch. Sir AV. Thomson tells U8 that 
the accumulation of something more than a foot of 
ice around the poles (which implies the withdrawal of, 
aay, an inch of water from the general surface of the 
sea) will cause the earth to rotate quicker by one-tenth 
of a second per annum. It would appear, therefore, 
that the earth may have been _ rotating, throughout the 
whole period which has elapsed from the commencement 
of the Glacial epoch down to the present time, one, or 
more, seconds per annum quicker than it rotated during 
the Miocene epoch. 

Euti according to Sir W. Thomson's calculation, tidal 
retardation will only account for a retardation of 22" in 
a century, or yits (say i) of a second per annum. 

Thus, assuming that the accumulation of polar ice 
since the Miocene epoch has only been sufficient to 
produce ten times the effect of a coat of ice one foot 
thick, we shall have an accelerating cause which covers 
all the loss from tidal action, and leaves a balance 
of J a second per annum in the way of acceleration. 

If tidal retardation can be thus checked and over- 
thrown by other temporary conditions, what becomes 
of the confident assertion, baaed upon the assumed uni- 
formity of tidal retardation, that ten thousand million 
years ago the earth must have been rotating more than 
twice as fast as at present, and, therefore, that we 
geologists are "in direct opposition to the principles 
of Natural Philosophy" if we spread geological history 
over that time ? 

II. The second argument is thus stated by Sir W. 
Thomson : — "An article, by myself, published in 'Mac- 
millan's Ma^Lzine' for March 1862, on the age of the 


sun's heat, expkina results of investigation into various 
questions as to possibilities regarding the amount of lieai 
that the sun could have, dealing with it as you woulil 
with a stone, or a piece of matter, only taking into 
account the sun's dimensions, which showed it to he 
possible that the sun may have already illuminated tlie 
oarth for as many as one hundred million years, but al 
the same time rendered it almost certain that he had not 
illuminated the earth for five hundred millions of years. 
The estimates here are neces-sarily very vague ; but yet, 
vague as they arc, I do not know that it is possible, 
upon any reasonable estimate foundetl on known pro- 
perties of matter, to say that we can believe the sim 
has really illuminated the earth for five hund red million 
years. "^ 

I do not wish to " Hansardize" Sir William Thomson.. 
by laying much stress on the fact that, only fifteen y 
ago, he entertained a totally different view of the origin 
of the sun's heat, and ijelieved that the energj* radiattJ 
from year to year was supplied from year to year — 
a doctrine which would have suited Hutton perfectly. 
But the fact that so eminent a physical philosopher has, 
thus recently, held views opposite to those which he now 
entertains, and that he confesses his own estimates 
be " very vague," justly entitles us to disregard th< 
estimates, if any distinct facts on our side go 
them. However, I am not aware that such facts e; 
As I have already said, for anything I know, one, 
or three hundred millions of years may serve the m 
of geologists perfectly well. 

HI. The third line of argument is based upon 
' Loe, cit., p. 3a 



tempGrature of the interior of the earth. Sir W. 
ThoiiLSLin refers to certain investigations which prove 
that the present thermal conditiou of the interior of 
the earth inipliea either a heating of the earth within the 
last 20,000 years of as much as 100° F., or a greater 
heating all over the surface at some time further back 
than 20,000 years, and then proceeds thus : — 

" Now, are geologists prepared to admit that, at some 
time within the last 20,000 years, there has been all 
over the earth so high a temperature aa that ? I pre- 
sume not ; no geologist — no modern geologist — would 
for a moment admit the hypothesis that the present 
state of underground heat is dne to a heating of the 
surface at so late a jwriod as 20,000 years ago. If that 
is not admitted, we are driven to a greater heat at some 
time more than 20,000 years ago. A greater heating 
all over the surface than 100° Fahrenheit would kill 
nearly all existing plants and animals, I may safely i-ay. 
Are modem geologists prepared to say that all life was 
killed off the earth 50,000, 100,000, or 200,000 years 
ago ? For the uniformity theory, the further back the 
time of high surface-temperature is put the better ; 
hut the further laack the time of heating, the hotter it 
must have been. The best for those who draw most 
largely on time is that which puts it furthest back ; 
and that is the theory that the heating was enough 
to melt the whole. But even if it was enough to 
melt the whole, we must still ailmit some limit, such as 
fifty million years, one hundred million years, or two 
or three hundred million years ago. Beyond that we 
cannot go." ' 


It will be observed that the "limit" is once again 
of the vaguest, ranging from 50,000,000 years to 
300,000,000. And the reply is, once more, that, for 
anything that can be proved to the contrary, one or 
two hundred million years might serve the purpose^ 
even of a thorough-going Huttonian uniformitarian, 
very well. 

But if, on the other hand, the 100,000,000 or 
200,000,000 years appear to be insufficient for geo- 
logical purposes, we must closely criticise the method 
by which the limit is reached. The argument is simple 
enough. Assuming the earth to be nothing but a cool- 
ing mass, the quantity of heat lost per year, supposing 
the rate of cooling to have been uniform, multipUed 
by any given number of years, will be given the mini- 
mum temperature that number of years ago. 

But is the earth nothing but a cooling mass, "like 
a hot- water jar such as is used in carriages," or "a globe 
of sandstone ? " and has its cooling been uniform ? An 
affirmative answer to both these questions seems to be 
necessary to the validity of the calculations on which 
Sir W. Thomson lays so much stress. 

Nevertheless it surely may be urged that such affirma- 
tive answers are purely hypothetical, and that other 
suppositions have an equal right to consideration. 

For example, is it not possible that, at the prodigious 
temperature which would seem to exist at 100 miles 
below the surface, all the metallic bases may behave as 
mercury does at a red heat, when it refuses to combine 
with oxygen ; while, nearer the surface, and therefore at 
a lower temperature, they may enter into combination (as 
mercury does with oxygen a few degrees below its boiling- 

point) and so give rise to a heat totally distinct from 
that which they possess as cooling bodies ? And has 
it not also been proved by recent researches tliat the 
quality of the atmosphere may immensely afl'ect its 
permeability to heat ; and, con8er|uently, profoundly 
modify the rate of cooling the globe as a whole ? 

I do not think it can be denied that such conditions 
may exist, and may so greatly affect the supply, and the 
loss, of terrestrial heat as to destroy the value of any 
calculations which leave them out of sieht. 

My fimctions as your advocate arc at an end, I 
speak with more than the sincerity of a mere advocate 
when I express the belief that the case against us has 
entirely broken douTi, The cry for reform which has 
been raised without, is superfluous, inasmuch as we 
have long been reforming from within, with all needful 
!ed. And the critical examination of the grounds 
which the very grave charge of opposition to 
;he principles of Natural Philosophy has been brought 
against us, rather shows that we have exereLsed a wise 
discrimination in declining, for the present, to meddle 
ith our foundations. 





Mr. Darwin's long-standing and well-earned scientific 
eminence probably renders him indifferent to that social 
notoriety which passes by the name of success ; but if 
the calm spirit of the philosopher have not yet wholly 
superseded the ambition and the vanity of the camal 
man within him, he must be well satisfied with the 
results of his venture in publishing the "Origin of 
Species." Overflowing the narrow bounds of purely 
scientific circles, the "species question" divides with 
Italy and the Volunteers the attention of general society. 
Everybody has read Mr. Darwin's book, or, at least, has 
given an opinion upon its merits or demerits ; pietists, 
whether lay or ecclesiastic, decry it with the mild 
railing which sounds so charitable ; bigots denounce it 
with ignorant invective ; old ladies, of both sexes, 
consider it a decidedly dangerous book, and even 
savans, who have no better mud to throw, quote anti- 
quated writers to show that its author is no better than 
an ape himself; while every philosophical thinker 
hails it as a veritable Whitworth gun in the armory of 



iralism ; and all competent naturalista and physio- 
its, whatever their opinioua as to the ultimate fate 
the doctrines put forth, acknowledge that the work in 
ich they are embcKlied is a solid contribution to know- 
Ige and inaugurates a new epoch iu natural history. 
Nor lias the discussion of the subject been restrained 
Bthin the limits of couversiition. When the public is 
and int4irestcd, re\iewers must minister to its 
ts ; and the genuine litteixiltur is too much in the 
ibit of aequirmg his knowledge from the book he 
■as the Abyssinian is Baid to provide himself 
ith steaks fiom the ox which carries him — to be with- 
[eld from criticism of a profound scientific work by the 
mere want of the requisite preliminary scientific acquire- 
ment ; while, on the other hand, the men of science who 
wish well to the new views, no less than those who 
dispute theii- validity, have naturally sought oppor- 
tunities of expressing their opinions. Hence it is not 
surprising that almost all the criticid journals have 
noticed Mr. Darwin's work at greater or less length ; 
and so many disquisitions, of every degree of excellence, 
from the poor product of ignorance, too often stimulated 
by prejudice, to the fair and thoughtful essay of the 
candid student of Nature, have appeared, (hat it seems 
almost hopeless task to attempt to say anything new 
ipon the question. 

But it may be doubted if the knowledge and acumen 
of prejudged scientific opponents, or the subtlety of 
orthodox special pleaders, have yet exerted their full 
force in mystifying the real issues of the great contro- 
versy which has been set afoot, and whose end is hardly 
likely to be seen by this generation ; so that, at this 


eleventh hour, and even failing anything new, it may k 
useful to state afresh that which is true, and to put tiie 
fundamental positions advocated by Mr. Darwin in such 
a form that they may be grasped by those whose special 
studies lie in other directions. And the adoption of this 
course may be the more advisable, because notwith- 
standing its great deserts, and indeed partly on account 
of them, the " Origin of Species " is by no means an easy 
book to read — if by reading is implied the full com- 
prehension of an author's meaning. 

We do not speak jestingly in saying that it is Mr. 
Darwin's misfortune to know more about the question he 
has taken up than any man living. Personally and 
practically exercised in zoology, in minute anatomy, in 
geology ; a student of geographical distribution, not on 
maps and in museums only, but by long voyages and 
laborious collection ; having largely advanced each of 
these branches of science, and having spent many years 
in gathering and sifting materials for his present work, 
the store of accurately registered facts upon which the 
author of the "Origin of Species" is able to draw at 
will is prodigious. 

But this very superabundance of matter must have 
been embarrassing to a writer who, for the present, can 
only put forward an abstract of his views ; and thence it 
arises, perhaps, that notwithstanding the clearness of the 
style, those who attempt fairly to digest the book find 
much of it a sort of intellectual pemmican — a mass of 
facts crushed and pounded into shape, rather than held 
together by the ordinary medium of an obvious logical 
bond : due attention will, without doubt, discover this 
bond, but it is often hard to find. 


Again, from sbeer want of room, miieh has to be 
iken for granted which might readily enough be proved ; 
1 hence, while the adept, who can supply the missing 
J in the evidence from his own knowledge, discovers 
I proof of the singular thoroughness with which all 
iculties have been considered and all unjustifiable 
suppositions avoided, at every repenisal of Mr. Darwin's 
pregnant paragraphs, the novice in biology is apt to 
complain of the frequency of what he fancies is gra- 
tuitous assumption. 
^k Thus while it may be doubted if, for some years, any 
^bne is likely to be competent to pronounce judgment on 
^bU the issues raised by Mr. Darwin, there is assuredly 
^Hliundant room for him, who, assuming the humbler. 
Hshough perhaps as useful, office of an interpreter between 
the " Origin of Species " and the public, contents himself 
with endeavouring to point out the nature of the 
problems which it discusses ; to distinguish between 
the ascertained facts and the theoretical views which it 
contains ; and finally, to show the extent to which the 
explanation it offers satisfies the requirements of scientific 
logic. At any rate, it is this office which we propose to 
undeitake in the following pages. 

It may be safely assumed that our readers have a 

-ffeneral conception of the nature of the objects to which 

2ie word "species" is applied.; but it has, perhaps, 

jcurred to few, even of those who are naturalists ex 

ro/esso, to reflect, that, as commonly employed, the 

I has a double sense and denotes two very different 

'torders of relations. When wc call a group of animals, 

or of plants, a species, we may imply thereby either, 

that all these animals or pinnt-s have some common 


peculiarity of form or structure ; or, we may mean that 
they possess some common functional character. That 
part of biological science which with form acd 
structure is called Morphology — that which concerns 
itself with function. Physiology — so that we may con- 
veniently speak of these two senses, or aspects, cS. 
"species" — the one as morphological, the other as phy- 
siological. Regarded from the former point of view, a 
species is nothing more than a kind of animal or plant, 
which is distinctly definable from all others, by certam 
constant, and not merely sexual, morphological peculiar- 
ities. Thus horses form a species, because the group of 
animals to which that name is applied is distinguished 
from all others in the world by the following constantly 
associated characters. They have 1, A vertebral column 
2. MammEB ; 3. A placental embryo ; 4. Four legs ; 5. A 
single well-developed toe in each foot provided with a 
hoof ; C. A bushy tail ; and 7. Callosities on the inner 
sides of both the fore and the hind legs. The assoa, 
again, form a distinct species, because, with the same 
characters, as far as the fifth in the above list, ijll asses 
have tufted tads, and have callosities only on the inner 
side of the fore legs. If animals were discovered having 
the general characters of the horse, but sometimes with 
callosities only on the fore legs, and more or less tufted 
tails ; or animals having the general characters of the 
ass, but with more or less bushy tails, and sometimes 
with callosities on both pairs of legs, besides being inter- 
mediate in other respects— the two species would have 
to be merged into one. They could no longer bq 
regarded as morphologically distinct species, for they 
would not be distinctly definable one from the other. 


However bnre and simple this definition of species 
may appear to be, we confidently appeal to all practical 
naturalists, whether zoologists, Iwtanists, or palatonto- 
logists, to say if, in the vast majority of eases, they 
know, or mean to aftlrm, anything more of the group of 
animals or plants they so denominate than what has just 
been stated. Even the most decided advocates of the 
received doctrines respecting species adnnt this. 

" I apprehend," esye Professor Owen,' " that few Datnralists now- 
a-Jays, in descrihing and proposing a name for what they call ' a new 
$ptcie>,' oae that term to mtniify ^^^^ ^^ meant hy it twenty or thirty 
yean ago ; that is, an originally diatinct creation, maintaining ita 
primitive distinction by obatructive geaeiBtivo pec uliari ties. The pro- 
posei of the new epeciea now intends to state no more than he 
actually knows ; as, for esampte, that the ditferences on which he 
founds the specific character are constant in individuals of hoth Boxes, 
eo iar as ohserration bos reached ; and that they are not due to 
domestication or to artiGcially superinduced external circumstances, or 
to any outward infiuence within his cognizance ; that the species la 
wild, or is snch as it appears by Ifature." 

If we consider, in fact, that by far the largest pro- 
portion of recorded existing species are known only by 
the study of their skins, or bones, or other lifeless 
exuvia ; that we are acquainted with none, or next to 
none, of their physiological peculiarities, beyond those 
which can be deduced from their structure, or are open 
to cursory observation ; and that we cannot hope to 
learn more of any of those extinct forms of life which 
I now constitute no inconsiderable proportion of the known 
[Flora and Fauna of the world : it is obvious that the 
definitions of these species can be only of a purely 

' On the Osteology of the C'himpuizeea and Onugs ; Traaaactions of the 
Oo]o^cb! Society. ISBfi. 


288 l^y SmMOTiS, JDDSESSES, AND SmiFfTS. \^M 

formative impulse is tcnding^tbe one scheme which td 
Arch^us of the old speciilators strives to carry oafl 
seems to be to mould the offspring into the likeoeaa M 
the parent. It is tlie first great law of reproduction 
that the ofFapring tends to resemble its parent or parental 
more closely than anything else. M 

Science will some day show us how this law is M 
necessary consequence of the more general laws whicfl 
govern matter ; but for the present, more can hardly be 
said than that it appears to be in harmony with them. 
We know that the phenomena of vitality are not some- 
thing apart from other physical phjenomena, but on 
with them ; and matter and force are the two names o 
the one artist who fashions the living as well as the life 
less. Hence li^'ing bodies should obey the same grea 
laws as otlier matter — nor, throughout Nature, is there 
law of wider application than this, that a body impelle 
by two forces takes the direction of their resultant. Bb 
living bodies may be regarded as nothing but extremel 
complex bundles of forces held iu a mass of matter, i 
the complex forces of a magnet are held in the steel I 
its coercive force ; and, since the differences of sex a 
comparatively slight, or, in other words, the sum of th 
forces in each has a very similar tendency, their r 
Bultant, the offspring, may reasonably be expected i 
deviate but little from a course parallel to either, ( 
to both. 

Represent the reason of the law to ourselves by whi 
physical metaphor or analogy wc will, however, tl 
great matter is to apprehend its existence aud the in 
portance of the consequeuces dcducible from it. F< 
things which are like to the same are like to one anothd 


,d if, in a great series of generations, every offspring is 
like ita parent, it follows that all the offspring and all 
the parents must be like one another; and that, given 
an original parental stock, with the opportunity of iin- 
distiu-hed multiplication, the law in question necessitates 
the production, in course of time, of an indefinitely large 
group, the whole of whose members are at onee very 
similar and are blood relations, having descended fi'om 
the same parent, or pair of parents. The proof that all 
the members of any given group of animals, or plants, 
had thus descended, would be ordinarily considered 
sufficient to entitle them to the rank of physiological 
^jpeeies, for most physiologists consider species to be de- 
^■liable as " the offspring of a single primitive stock." 
HrEut though it is quite true that all those groups we 
call species ntay, according to the known laws of re- 
production, have descended from a single stock, and 
though it is very likely they really have done eo, yet 
this conclusion rests on deduction and can hardly hope 
to establish itself upon a basis of observation. And the 
primitiveness of the supposed single stock, which, after 
all, is the essential part of the matter, is not oidy a 
hypothesis, but one which has not a shadow of founda- 
tion, if by " primitive " be meant " independent of any 
other living being." A scientific definition, of which an 
unwaiTantable hypothesis forms an essential part, carries 
its condemnation within itself; but even supposing such 
a definition were, in form, tenable, the physiologist who 
should attempt to apply it in Nature would soon find 
himself involved in great, if not inextricable difficulties. 
As we have said, it is indubitable that offspring tend to 
i-eserable the parental organism, but it is equally truo 


rJiat i\uz himilarity attained never amounts to lii^airhT. 
'ither in form or in structure. There is always a tenaii 


amount of rlcviation, not only from the pre*:-ise eharaetias 
of a ftin^h: ]ian^nt, but when, as in mo&t anima]^ aLni 
many plants, the Hexes are lodged in distinct in«iiTidaaIs. 
from an exact mean between the two parents. And 
indeerl, on general principles, this slight deviation seems 
JIM int^flligible as the general similarity, if we reflect how 
com[ilex the co-opf;rating " bundles of forces ' ' aie, an<i 
how imj^robable it is that, in any case, their true re- 
Hult'int Hhall coincide with any mean between the more 
obviouH characters of the two parents. Whatever be 
its r-auHr?, hr>wever, the co-existence of this tendency to 
minor variation with the tendency to general similarity, 
is of vast imjKirtance in its bearing on the question of 
the origin of sfH^cies. 

Ah a geneml rule, the extent to which an offspring 
ilifHtrH from its parent is slight enough ; but, occasionally, 
the amount of difference is much more strongly marked, 
and th(jn th(; divergent offspring receives the name of a 
Vnri(*ty. Multitudes, of what there is every reason to 
l>(ili(»ve arc such varieties, are known, but the origin of 
very fiiw has Ixicn accurately recorded, and of these we 
will Hcjlect two an more especially illustrative of the main 
fd'atures of variation. The first of them is that of the 
" A neon," or " Otter" sheep, of which a careful account 
is given l)y (!olonel David Humphreys, F.R.S., in a letter 
to Sir Joseph Banks, published in the Philosophical 
Tiansactions for 1813. It appears that one Seth Wright^ 
the proprietor of a farm on the banks of the Charles 
River, in Massachusetts, possessed a flock of fifteen ewes 
and a ram of the ordinary kind. In the year 1791, one 


tif the ewes presented her ownei* with a male lamb, 
differmg, for no assignable reason, from its parents by a 
proportionally long body and short bandy legs, whence 
it waa unable to emulate ita relatives in those sportive 
leaps over the neighbours' fences, in which they were 
in the habit of indulging, much to the good farmer's 

The second eaae is that detailed by a no less unex- 
ri'ptionable authority than Reaumur, iu his " Art de faire 
eclore les Poulets." A Maltese couple, named Kelleia, 
whose hands and feet were constructed upon the ordinary 
human model, bad bom to them a son, Gratio, who pos- 
.'^esaed six perfectly moveable fingers on each hand and 
fiix toes, not quite so well formed, on each foot. No 
cause could be assigned for the appearance of thia un- 
usual variety of the human species. 

Two circumstances are well worthy of remark in both 
fliese cases. In each, the variety appears to have arisen 
ill full force, and, as it were, per mltnin ; a wide and 
definite difference appearing, at once, between the Ancon 
ram and the ordinary sheep ; between the six-fingered 
ami six-toed Gratio Kelleia and ordinary men. In 
neither case is it possible to point out any obvious reason 
fur the appearance of the variety. Doubtless there were 
determining causes for these as for all other pha^nomena ; 
but they do not appear, and we can be tolerably cer- 
tain that what are ordinarily understood as changes in 
physical conditions, as in climate, in food, or the like, 
did not tivke place and had nothing to do with the 
matUT. It was no case of what is commonly called 
adaptation to circumstances ; but, to use a conveniently 
^^MOQeoua phrase, the variations arose spontaneously. 


Tlio fruitless search after final causes leads their pursuers 
a long way ; but even those hardy teleologists, who are 
ready to break through all the laws of physics in chase 
oi their favourite will-o'-the-wisp, may be puzzled to 
discover what purpose could be attained by the stunted 
legs of Setli Wright's ram or the hexadactyle membos 
of Ci ratio Kelleia, 

Varieties then arise we know not why ; and it is more 
than i)robable that the majority of varieties have arisen 
in this " spontaneous" manner, though we are, of course, 
for fi^om denying that they may be traced, in some cases, 
to distinct external influences ; which are assuredly com- 
l>etent to tdter the. character of the tegumentary cove^ 
ing, to change colour, to increase or diminish the size of 
muscles, to modify constitution, and, among plants, to 
give rise to the metamorphosis of stamens into petals, 
and so forth. But however they may have arisen, what 
csiKH*ially inteiH}sts us at present is, to remark that, once 
in oxistt^nco, varieties obey the fundamental law of re- 
pnxluction that like tends to produce like, and their 
otlspring exemplify it by tending to exhibit the same 
deviation fix)m the parental stock as themselves. Indeed, 
theix^ seems to be, in many instances, a pre-potent in- 
lluence about a newly-arisen variety which gives it 
what one may call an unfair advantage over the normal 
descendants from the same stock. This is strikingly 
exemplified by the case of Gratio Kelleia, who married 
a woman with the Ordinary pentadactyle extremities, 
and had by her four children, Salvator, George, Andr^ 
and Marie. Of these children Salvator, the eldest boy, 
had six fingers and six toes, like his father ; the second 
and third, also boys, had five fingers and five toes, like 

their mother, though the hands and feet of George 
were sliglitly deformed ; the last, a girl, had five fingers 
and five toes, but the thumbs were slightly dt-formed. 
The variety thus reproduced itself purely in the eldest, 
while the normal type reproduced itself purely in the 
third, and almost purely in the second and last : so 
that it would seem, at first, as if the normal type 
were more powerful than the variety. But all these 
children grew up and intermarried with normal wives 
and husband, and then, note what took place : Sal- 
vator had four children, three of whom exhibited the 
hcxadactyle members of their grandfather am.1 father, 
while the youngest had the pentadactyle limbs of the 
mother and grandmother ; so that here, notwithstanding 
a double pentadactyle dilution of the blood, the hexa- 
dactyle variety had the best of it. The same pre-potency 
of the variety was still more markedly exempUfied in 
the progeny of two of the other children, Marie and 
George. Marie (whose thumbs only were deformed) 
gave birth to a boy with six toes, and throe other 
normally formed children ; but George, who was not 
quite so pure a pentadactyle, begot, first, two girls, each 
of whom had sis fingers and toes ; then a girl with six 
fingers on each hand and six toes on the right foot, but 
only five toes on the left ; and lastly, a boy with only 
five fingers and toes. In these instances, therefore, the 
variety, as it were, leaped over one generation to re- 
produce itself in full force in the next. Finally, the 
purely pentadactyle Andr^ was the father of many 
children, not one of whom departed from the normal 
parental type. 
— If a variation which approaches the nature of a mon- 


•tr.fiitT r-an -ftriTe iLu* forcibly to reprodace itself, it 'm 
Uhi trondrrful that l€^ al-rirant modifications should 
t^nd to )ff: ifT^^Tved even more strongly; and the lustar 
of th'r A neon sheep is. in this respect, particularly in- 
structive. With the *• cuteness" characteristic of their 
nation, the neighboo/ft of the Massachusetts farmer 
imarrin'.-^l it would be an excellent thing if all his sheep 
were imbued with the stav-at-home tendencies enforced 
by Nature u|jon the newly-arrived ram ; and they advised 
Wri;:;ht to kill the old patriarch of his fold, and install 
the Ancon ram in lus place. The result justified their 
sagairious anticipations, and coincided ver\' nearly with 
what rxjcurxed to the progeny of Gratio Kelleia. The 
young lamlis were almost always either pure ^Vncons, or 
pUHi ordinaiy sheep.^ But when sufficient Ancon sheep 
were ol.»tained to interbreed with one another, it was 
found that the ofisi^ring was always pure Ancon. Colouel 
llunii>hreys, in fact, states that he was acquainted with 
only "one questionable case of a contnuy nature." 
Here, then, is a remarkable and well-established instance, 
not only of a very distinct race being established j)er 
Haltinn^ but of that race breeding "true" at once, and 
showing no mixed forms, even when crossed with another 

> (Joloncl Humphreys' statements are exceedingly explicit on this point :— 
'* When an Ancon ewe is impregnated by a common ram, the increaiie 
roHomblcH wlioily either the cwo or the rum. The increase of the common 
ewo imprcgtiutcd by an Ancon mm follows entirely the one or the other, 
without blending any of the distinguishing and essential peculiarities of both. 
Fre(|uent instances have happened where common ewes have had twins by 
A noon rams, when one exhibited the complete marks and features of the 
ewo, the other of the ram. The contrast has been rendered singnlarly 
Ntriking, when one short-legged and one long-legged kmb, produced at a 
birth, have been scon sucking the dam at the same time." — PhUofopkityfl 
TraHinrtioHMt 1813, Pt. I., pp. 89, 1)0. 

XII.] THE OliiaiN OF Sl'EClES. 29.') 

By taking aire to select Aucous of both sexes, for 
broetling from, it thus became easy to establish an ex- 
tremely well-marked race ; so peculiar that, even when 
herded with other sheep, it was noted that the Aneous 
kept together. And there is every reason to believe that 
the existence of this breed might have been indefinitely 
l>rotracted ; but the introduction of the Meiino sheep, 
which were not only veiy superior to the Ancons in wool 
rmd meat, but quite as quiet and orderly, led to the com- 
plete neglect of the new breed, so that, in 1813, Colonel 
Humphreys found it ditiicult to obtain the specimen, 
whose skeleton was presented to Su" Joseph Banks. We 
believe that, for many years, no remnant of it has existed 
iu the United States. 

Gratio Kelleia was not the pi-ogenitor of a race of six- 
fingered men, as Seth Wright's ram became a nation of 
Ancon sheep, though the tendency of the variety to 
pei-petuate itself appears to have been fully as sti'ong, in 
the one case as in the other. And the reason of the 
diflerenee is not far to seek. Seth Wright took csire not 
to weaken the Ancon blood by matching his Ahcon cm'cs 
with any but males of the S£ variety, while Gratio 
Kelleia's sons were too far removed from the patriarclial 
times to intermarry with their sisters ; and his grand- 
fhildren seem not to have been attracted by their six- 
fingered cousins, In other words, in the one example a 
race was produced, because, for several generations, care 
was taken to select both parents of the Ijreeding stock, 
from animals exhibiting a tendency to vary in the same 
direction ; while, in the other, no race was evolved, because 
no such selection was exercised. A race is a pi-opngaled 
■ ■variety; and iis. by the laws of rei>roduction, ofispring 

-i-j -^/ y^i2.;/o.V.?. J J DRESSES. AX J RSPZSrri. *xr- 

m.'i':" ii«.r •:»^ triz.-^TrLrrtiiL -ie.*! "wiiii.^ii. if seLfi^rivelv trans- 
mirrn!. niiiv z«:!: '^ei^iin-f die toJiniiad'jii of i rri».nr. This 
■zre:ir tr^rii. -s^.-merinies r-jrr'i'Crcii b^r'r'K'rrs, has 
loD'Z o*:*:ii familiur :•:• pn^.-rj^al a;iri!'jlLTirL?r3 cmd brei?d»rTs: 
unl T:p<:-Q :: r--r ill rb: mecb^Ia ijf Lm.prf:}viiig the breeds 
•jf 'LjEn'tr-rii: animal*. ':riii«:h. for me li^t •:?irrLaLPr, have 
beea i:oIlo':r-«l ^rfa. -si:. nuii-h. ?iio«?trs& in Englani Colour, 
vjnn. -ize. reitTire •:■£ hair or w^^^l, propjrrion^ of various 
part.^. ^rren^th or weakness of TOnatitnrion, tendency to 
fatten r-r t«j remain lean, to give niu«:h or little milk, 
^p:e«:l. strength, temp-er, intelligen*:re, special instincts; 
thepj L-? n«jt 'i-ne of these characters wh«>5e transmission 
L3 n-jt an everv-day «>:ciLrrenoe within the experience of 
cattle-bree»lers. stixk-farmers, horse-^iealers, and dog and 
pioultry fanciers. Nay, it is only the other day that an 
emintmt physiologu-t. Dr. Brown-Se«^nard, commonicated 
to the Royal Society his dLscovery that epilepsy, artifi- 
cially pr«>luced in guinea-pigs, by a means which he has 
discovered, is transmitted to their offspring. 

But a race, once produced, is no more a fixed and 
immutable entity than the stock whence it sprang; 
variations arise among its members, and as these varia- 
tions are transmitted like any others, new races may be 
developed out of the pre-existing ones ad injinitum, or, 
at least, within any limit at present determined. Given 
sufficient time and sufficiently careful selection, and the 


utitude of races which may arise from a common 
Ek is as astonishing as are the extreme structural 
which they may present. A remarkable 
nple of this is to be found in the rock-pigeon, which 
Darwin has, in our opinion, satisfactorily demon- 
ated to be the progenitor of all our domestic pigeons, 
ich there are certainly more than a hundred well- 
rked races. The most noteworthy of these races are, 
I four great stocks known to the "fancy" as tumblers, 
3rs, carriers, and fantails; birds which not only differ 
singularly in size, colour, and habits, but in the 
I of the beak and of the skull : in the proportions of 
s beak to the sknU ; in the number of tail-feathers ; in 
B -absolute and relative size of the feet ; in the presence 
absence of the uropygial gland ; in the number of 
iebne in the back ; in short, in precisely those cha- 
in which the genera and species of birds differ 
^m one another. 
* And it is most remarkable and instructive to observe, 
that none of these races can be shown to have been 
originated by the action of changes in what arc com- 
monly called external circumstances, upon the wild rock- 
pigeon. On the contrary, from time immemorial, pigeon 
fanciers have had essentially similar methods of treating 
their pete, which have been housed, fed, protected and 
cared for in much the same way in all pigeonries. In 
fact, there is no case better adapted than that of the 
pigeons, to refute the doctrine which one sees put forth 
on high authority, that " no other characters than those 
founded on the development of bone for the attachment 
of muscles" are capable of variation. In precise con- 
j.teadiction of this hasty assertion, Mr. Darwin's researches 


prove that the skeleton of the wings in domestic pigeom 
lias hardly varied at all from that of the wild type; 
while, on the other hand, it is in exactly those respects, 
such as the relative length of the beak and skull, Ae 
number of the vertebrae, and the number of the tail- 
feathers, in which muscular exertion can have no im- 
portant influence, that the utmost amount of variation 
has taken place. 

We have said that the foUowiug out of the j^roperties 
exhibited by physiological species would lead us into 
difficulties, and at this point they begin to be obvious; 
for, if, as a result of spontaneous variation and of 
selective breeding, the progeny of a common stock may 
l)Ccome separated into groups distinguished from one 
another by constant, not sexual, morphological characters, 
it is clear that the physiological definition of species is 
likely to clash with the morphological definition. No 
one would hesitate to describe the pouter and the 
tumbler as distinct species, if they were found fossil, or 
if their skins and skeletons were imported, as those of 
exotic wild birds commonly are — and, without doubt, if 
considered alone, they are good and distinct morpho- 
logical species. On the other hand, they are not physio- 
logical species, for they are descended from a common 
stock, the rock-pigeon. 

Under these circumstances, as it is admitted on all 
sides that races occur in Nature, how are we to knov 
whether any apparently distinct animals are really of 
<lifferent physiological species, or not, seeing that the 
amount of morphological difierence is no safe guide? 
Is there any test of a physiological species ? The usual 



answer of physiologists is iu tlie affirmative. It is said 
that such a test is to be found in the phasnomcna of 
hybridization — in the results of crossing races, as com- 
pared with the results of crossing species. 

So far as the evidence goes at present, individuals, of 
what are certainly known to be mere races produced by 
selection, however distinct they may appear to be, not 
only breed freely together, but the otfapring of such 
crossed races arc only perfectly fertile with one another. 
Thus, the spaniel and the greyhound, the dray-horee and 
the Arab, the pouter and the tumbler, breed together 
with perfect freedom, and their mongrels, if matched 
with other mongrels of the same kind, are equally fertile. 

On the other hand, there can be no doubt that the 
individuals of many natural .species are either absolutely 
infertile, if crossed with individuals of other species, or, 
if they give rise to hybrid offspring, the hybrids so 
produced are infertile when paired together. The horse 
and the ass, for instance, if so crossed, give rise to the 
mule, and there is no certain . evidence of offspring ever 
having been produced by a male and female mule. The 
unions of the rock-pigeon and the ring-pigeon appear to 
lie ecjually barren of result Here, then, says the phy- 
siologist, we have a means of distinguishing any two 
true species fi-om any two varieties. If a male and a 
female, selected from each group, produce offspring, and 
that oflspring is fertile with others produced in the same 
way, the groups are races and not species. If, on the 
other hand, no result ensues, or if the offspring are 
infertile with others produced in the same way, they are 
true phj-siological sjx'cics. The test would lie an admir- 
iblc one, if, in the fii'st place, it were nlwnyK practicable 


to apply it, and if, in the second, it always yielded 
results susceptible of a definite interpretation. Unfor- 
tunately, in the great majority of cases, this touchstone 
for species is wholly inapplicable. 

The constitution of many wild animals is so altered 
by confinement that they will not breed even with their 
own females, so that the negative results obtained fix)m 
crosses are of no value ; and the antipathy of wild animals 
of different species for oue another, or even of wild and 
tame members of the same species, is ordinarily so great, 
that it is hopeless to look for such unions in Nature. 
The hermaphrodism of most plants, the difficulty in the 
way of ensuring the absence of their own, or the proper 
working of other pollen, are obstacles of no less magni- 
tude in applying the test to them. And in both animals 
and plants is superadded the further difficulty, that 
experiments must be continued over a long time for the 
purpose of ascertaining the fertility of the mongrel or 
hybrid progeny, as well as of the first crosses firom 
which they spring. 

Not only do these great practical difficulties lie in the 
way of applying the hybridization test, but even when 
this oracle can be questioned, its replies are sometimes 
as doubtful as those of Delphi. For example, cases are 
cited by Mr. Darwin, of plants which are more fertile 
with the pollen of another species than with their own ; 
and there are others, such as certain fiici, whose male 
element will fertilize the ovule of a plant of distinct spe- 
cies, while the males of the latter species are ineffective 
with the females of the first. So that, in the last-named 
instance, a physiologist, who should cross the two species 
in one way, would decide that they were true species; 


while auother, w!io should cross them in the reverse 
way, would, with equal justice, according to the rule, 
pronounce them to be mere races. Several plants, which 
there is great reason to believe are mere varieties, are 
iilmost eterile when crossed ; while both animals and 
plants, which have always been regarded by naturalists 
as of distinct species, turn out, when the test is apphed, 
to be perfectly fertile. Again, the steriHty or fertility 
of crosses seems to bear no relation to the structural 
resemblances or differences of the members of any two 

Mr. Darwin has discussed this question with singular 
ability and circumspection, and his conclusions are 
summed up as follow, at page 276 of his work: — 

"Pirat crosses between forma sufficiently distinct to be ranted as 
species, and their hytrids, are very generuUy, Imt not univereally, 
sterile. The sterility ia of all de^Tees, and is often ao slight that the 
two most careful experimentaliats wlio have ever lived have coma to 
(lianiotricoLly opposite conclusions in Tanking forms l>y this test. The 
sterility is innately variable in individuals of the same species, and is 
eminently susceptible of favourable and unfavourable conditions. The 
degree of sterility does not strictly follow systematic affinity, bat is 
governed by several curious and complex lawa. It ia generally dif- 
ferent, and Bometinies widely diiferent, in reciprocal crosses between 
the same two speciee. It ia not always equal in degree in a first cross, 
and in the hybrid produced from this cross. 

" In the aamo manner as in grafting trees, the capacity of one 
epeciea or variety to take on another is incidental on generally 
unknown diflerencea in f heir vegetative systems ; so in croaaing, the 
greater or lees facility of one speciea to unite witli another is inci- 
ilental on unknown difTerencea in their reproductive systems. There 
is no more reason to think that species have been specially endowed 
ivitli varioua degrees of sterility to prevent them crossing and breeding 
in Nature, than to think that trees have been specially endowed with 
varioua and somewhat analogoua degrees of difficulty in being grafud 
ither, in order to prevent them becoming inarched in onr foresta. 



'^ The sterility of first crosses between pare species^ wliich have 
their reproductive systems perfect, seems to depend on several circum- 
stances ; in some easps largely on the early death of the embryo. The 
i«terility of hybritis which have their reproductive systems imperfect, 
and which have had this system and their whole organization dii- 
turbed by being compounded of two distinct species^ seems close! j 
allied to that sterility which so frequently affects pure species when 
their natural conditii>ns of life have been distarbed. This view ii 
supported by a parallelism of another kind ; namely, that the crossing 
of fonns, only slightly different, is fiivourable to the vigour and fartilitj 
of the offspring ; and that slight changes in the conditions of life are 
apparently favourable to the vigour and fertility of all organic beiDga. 
It is not surprising that the degree of difficulty in uniting two specie^ 
and the degree of sterility of their hybrid offspring, should generallj 
correspond, though due to distinct causes ; for both depend on the 
amount of difference of some kind between the species which are 
crossed. Xor is it surprising that the facility of effecting a first cross, 
the fertility of hybrids produced from it^ and the capacity of being 
grafted together — though this latter capacity evidently depends on 
widely different circumstances— should all run to a certain extent 
parallel with the systematic affinity of the forms which are subjected 
to experiment ; for syst^jnintic affinity attempts to express all kinds of 
resemblance l^tween all species. 

" First crosses between forms known to be varieties, or sufficiently 
alike to be considered as varieties, and their mongrel offspring, are 
very generally, but not quite universally, fertile. Nor is this nearly 
general and perfect fertility surprising, when we remember how liable 
we are to argue in a circle with respect to varieties in a state of 
Nature ; and when we remember that the greater number of varieties 
have been produced under domestication by the selection of mere 
external differences, and not of differences in the reproductive system. 
In all other respects, excluding fertility, there is a close general 
resemblance between hybrids and mongrels.'* — Pp. 27G-8. 

We fully agree with the general tenor of this weighty 
passiige; but forcible as are these arguments, and little as 
the value of fertility or infertility as a test of species may 
l)e, it must not be forgotten that the really important 
fact, so far as the inquiry into the origin of species 
goes, is, that there are such things in Nature as groups 

f.} THE OlilOIN OP SPECIES. 303 

animals and of plants, whose members arc incapable 
fertile union with those of other groups ; and that 
are such things as hybrids, which are abaolutely 
when crossed with other hybrids. For if such 
inomena as these were exhibited by only two of those 
blages of living objects, to which the name of 
es (whether it be used in its physiological or in 
morphological sense) is given, it would have to bp 
lunted for by any theory of the origin of species, and 
theory whif'h could not account for it would be, so 

p to this point we have been dealing with matters of 
and the statements which we have laid before the 
ler would, to the best of our knowledge, be admitted 
intain a fair exposition of what is at present known 
respecting the essential properties of species, by all who 
have studied the question. And whatever may be hia theo- 
retical views, no naturalist will probably be disposed to 
demur to the following summary of that exposition : — 

Living beings, whether animals or plants, are divisible 
into midtitudes of distinctly definable kinds, which are 
morphological species. They are also divisible into 
groups of individuals, which breed freely together, tend- 
ing to reproduce their like, and are physiological species. 
Normally resembling their parents, the offspring of 
members of these species are still liable to vary, and the 
variation may be perpetuated Iiy selection, as a race, 
which race, in many ca.'^es, presents all the characteristics 
of a morjAological species. But it is not as yet proved 
that a race ever exhibits, when crossed with another race 
of the same species, those phseuomena of hybridization 
ich are exhibited by mnny species when crossed with 



other species. On the other hand, not only is it not 
proved that all species give rise to hybrids infertile 
inter se, but there is much reason to believe that, in 
crossing, species exhibit every gradation from perfect 
sterility to perfect fertility. 

Such are the most essential characteristics of speciea 
Even were man not one of them — a member of the same 
system and subject to the same laws — the question of 
their origin, their causal connexion, that is, with the 
other pha^nomena of the universe, must have attracted 
his attention, as soon as his intelligence had raised 
itself above the level of his daily wants. 

Indeed history relates that such was the case, and 
has embalmed for us the speculations upon the origin 
of living beings, which were among the earliest products 
of the dawning intellectual activity of man. In those 
early days positive knowledge was not to be had, but the 
craving after it needed, at all hazards, to l>e satisfied, and 
according to the country, or the turn of thought of the 
speculator, the suggestion that all living things arose 
from the mud of the Nile, from a primeval egg, or from 
some more anthropomorphic agency, afforded a sufficient 
resting-place for his curiosity. The myths of Paganism 
are as dead as Osiris or Zeus, and the man who should 
revive them, in opposition to the knowledge of our time, 
Avould be justly laughed to scorn ; but the coeval imagi- 
nations current among the rude inhabitants of Palestine, 
recorded by writers whose very name and age are 
admitted by every scholar to be unknown, have unfor- 
tunately not yet shared their fate, but, even at this day, 
are regarded by nine-tenths of the civilized world as the 


6.1 THE ORiaiN OF SPECIES. 305 

mthoritative standard of fact and tbe criterion of the 
justice of scieutific conclusions, in all that relates to the 
origin of things, and, among them, of species. In this 
nineteenth century, as at the dawn of modern physical 
science, the cosmogony of the semi-barbaroua Hebrew is 
tbe incubus of the philosopher and the opprobrium of the 
orthodox. Who shall number the patient and earnest 
seekers after truth, from the days of Galileo until now, 
■whose lives have been embittered and their good name 
blasted by the mistaken zeal of Bibliolaters ? Who 
shall count tbe host of weaker men whose sense of 
truth has been destroyed in the effort to harmonize 
impossibilities — whose life has been wasted in the 
attempt to force the generous new wine of Science 
into the old bottles of Judaism, compelled by tbe outcry 
of the same strong party ? 

It is true that if philosophers have suffered, their 
cause bas been amply avenged. Extinguished theolo- 
gians be about the cradle of every science as the 
strangled snakes beside that of Hercules ; and history 
records that whenever science and orthodoxy have been 
fairly opposed, the latter baa been forced to retire from 
the lists, bleeding and crushed, if not annihilated ; 
scotched, if not slain. But orthodoxy is the Bourbon 
of tbe world of thought. It Icams not, neither can it 
forget ; and though, at present, bewildered and a&aid 
to move, it is as willing as ever to insist that the first 
chapter of Genesis contains the beguming and the end of 
Bound science ; and to visit, with such petty thunderbolts 
as its half-paralysed hands can hurl, those who refuse to 
degrade Nature to the level of primitive Judaism. 

Philosophers, on tbe other hand, have no such aggres- 

306 />.^i' SEltyfONS, ADDRESSES, AND REFIEWS. [xiL 

sive tendencies. With eyes fixed on the noble goal to 
which " per aspera et ardua " they tend, they may, now 
and then, be stirred to momentary wrath by the unneces- 
sary obstacles with which the ignorant, or the maUcious, 
encumber, if they cannot bar, the difficult path ; but 
why should their souls be deeply vexed ? The majesty 
of Fact is on their side, and the elemental forces of 
Nature are working for them. Not a star comes to the 
meridian at its calculated time but testifies to the justice 
of their methods — their beliefs are "one with the falling 
rain and with the growing corn." By doubt they are 
established, and open inquiry is their bosom friend. 
Such men have no fear of traditions however venerable, 
and no respect for them when they become mischievouB 
and obstructive ; but they have better than mere anti- 
quarian business in hand, and if dogmas, which ought to 
be fossil but are not, are not forced upon their notice, 
they are too happy to treat them a,s non-existent. 

The hypotheses respecting the origin of species which 
profess to stand upon a scientific basis, and, as such, 
alone demand serious attention, are of two kinds. The 
one, the " special creation " hypothesis, presumes every 
species to have originated from one or more stocks, 
these not being the result of the modification of any 
other form of living matter — or arising by natural 
agencies — but being produced, as such, by a super- 
natural creative act. 

The other, the so-called " transmutation " hypothesis, 
considers that all existing species are the result of the 
modification of pre-existing species, and those of their 
predecessors, by agencies similar to those which at the 

present day produce varieties and nices, and thevefore. in 
an altogether natural way ; and it ia a probable, though 
not a neccHsary consequence of this lij-pothesis, that all 
living beings have arisen from a single stoek. With 
respect to the origin of this primitive stock, or stocks, 
the doctrine of the origin of species is obviously not 
necessarily concerned. The transmutation hypothesis, 
for example, is perfectly consistent either with the con- 
ception of a special creation of the primitive germ, or 
with the supposition of its having arisen, as a modifi- 
cation of inorganic matter, by natural causes. 

The doctrine of special creation owes its existence 
very largely to the supposed necessity of making science 
accord with the Heiirew cosmogony ; but it is curious 
to observe that, as the doctrine is at present maintained 
by men of science, it is as hopelessly inconsistent with 
the Hebrew view as any other hypothesis. 

If there be any result which has come more clearly 
out of geological investigation than another, it is, that 
the vast series of extinct animals and plants is not 
divisible, as it was once supposed to be, into distinct 
groups, separated by sharply marked boundaries. There 
are no great gulfs between epochs and formations — no 
successive periods marked hy the appejirance of plants, 
of water animals, and of land animals, en masse. Every 
year adds to the list of links between what the older 
geologists .-supposed to be widely separated epochs : 
witness the crags linking the drift with the older ter- 
tiaries ; the Maestricht beds linking the tertiaries with 
the chalk ; the St. Cassian beds exhibiting an abundant 
fauna of mixed mesozoic and palaeozoic types, in recks 
ttf an epoch once supposed to be eminently poor in life ; 
Kb X 2 


witncsfi, lastly, the incesaant dilates 38 to whether i 
given stratum shall be reckoned deToniiui or a 
iferouH, siliLriaa or doroDiam, Cambrian or slnrian. 

Tiu« truth is further illustrated in a most interesrtii^l 
manner by the impartial and highly competent testimoDyl 
of M. Pictet, from whose calcidations of what pereentagal 
of the genera of animals, existing in any formation, lived! 
(luring the preceding formation, it results that in : 
c;i8e in tho ]»roportion less than one-thtrd, or 33 
cent. It is the triassic formation, or the commencemei 
of the mcBozoic epoch, which has received this smallest 
inheritance from preceding ages. The other formations 
not uncommonly exhibit (iO, 80, or even 94 per cenL 
of genera in common with those whose remains . 
iiiil)edtled in their predecessor. Not only is this truq 
but the subdivisions of each formation exhibit ne« 
Rpccies characterbtic of, and found only in, them ; an4 
in many cases, as in the lias for example, the separat 
l>edn of these subdivisions are distinguished by well 
marked juid peculiar forma of life. A section, a hundro 
foot thick, will exhibit, at different heights, a doze 
species of ammonite, none of which passes beyond i 
particular zone of limestone, or clay, into the zone beloi 
it or into that above it ; so that those who adopt t 
doctrine of Bpecial creation must be prepared to admil 
that at intervals of time, corresponding with the thicknei 
of these beds, the Creator thought fit to interfere witi 
the natural course of events for the purpose of maki 
a new ammonite. It is not easy to transplant ones 
into the frame of mind of those who can accept such 
conclusion as this, on any evidence short of absolol 
demonstration ; and it is difficult to see what is to 1 


gained by so doing, since, aa we have said , it is obvious 
that such a view of the origin of living beinga is utterly 
opposed to the Hebrew cosmogony. Deserving no aid 
from the powerful arm of bibliolatry, then, docs the 
received form of the hypothesis of special creation derive 
any support from science or sound logic 1 ^Vs&uredly 
not much. The arguments brought forward in its favour 
all take one form : If species were not super naturally 
created, we cannot understand the facts x, or y, or z ; 
we cannot understand the structure of animals or plants, 
unless we suppose they were contrived for special ends ; 
we cannot understand the structure of the eye, except 
by supposing it to have been made to see with ; we 
cannot understand instincts, unless we suppose animals 
to have been miraculously endowed with them. 

Aa a question of dialectics, it must be admitted that 
this sort of reasoniifg is not very formidable to those 
who are not to be frightened by consequences. It is an 
argumentum ad ignoj'antiam — take this explanation or 
be ignorant But suppose we prefer to admit our igno- 
rance rather than adopt a hypothesis at variance with 
all the teachings of Nature ? Or, suppose for a moment 
we admit the explanation, and then seriously aak our- 
selves how much the wiser are we ; what docs the 
explanation explain ? Is it any more than a grandilo- 
quent way of announcing the fact, that we really know 
nothing about the matter ? A phEenomenon is explained 
when it is shown to be a case of some general law of 
Knture ; but the supernatural interposition of the Creator 
Htadl, by the nature of the ease, exemplify no law, and if 
^^pecics have really arisen in this va.y, it is absurd to 
^Bbtempt to discuss their origin. 


Or, lastly, let us ask ourselves whether any amount 
of evidence which the nature of our faculties permits us 
to attain, can justify us in asserting that any phaeno- 
menon is out of the reach of natural causation. To this 
end it is obviously necessary that we should know all 
the consequences to which all possible combinations, 
continued through unlimited time, can give rise. K we 
knew these, and found none competent to originate 
species, we stould have good ground for denying their 
origin by natural causation. Till we know them, any 
hypothesis is better than one which involves us in such 
miserable presumption. 

But the hypothesis of special creation is not only a 
mere specious mask for our ignorance ; its existence in 
Biology marks the youth and imperfection of the science. 
For what is the history of every science but the his- 
tory of the elimination of the notion of creative, or 
other interferences, with the natural order of the phseuo- 
mena which arc the subject-matter of that science? 
When A8ti\)nomy was young "the morning stai-s sang 
together for joy," and the planets were guided in their 
courses by celestial hands. Now, the harmony of the 
stars has resolved itself into gravitation according to 
the inverse squares of the distances, and the orbits of 
the planets are deducible from the laws of the forces 
which allow a schoolboys stone to break a window. 
The lightning was the angel of the Lord ; but it has 
pleased Providence, in these modern times, that science 
should make it the humble messenger of man, and we 
know that eveiy flash that shimmers about the horizon 
on a summer's evening is determined by ascertainable 
conditions, and that its direction and brightness- might, 


it our knowledge of these were great enough, have been 

The solvency of great mercantile companies rests on 
the validity of the laws which have been ascertained 
to govern the seeming irregularity of that human life 
■which the moralist bewails as the most uncertain of 
things ; jiUigue, jiestilence, and famine are admitted, by 
all but fools, to be the natural result of causes for the 
most part fully within human control, and not the 
unavoidable tortures inflicted by wrathful Omnipotence 
upon his helpless handiwork. 

Hannouioua order governing eternally continuous 
progress^the web and woof of matter and force inter- 
weaving by slow degi-ees, without a broken thread, that 
veil which lies between us and the Infinite — that 
universe which alone we know or can know ; such is 
the picture which science draws of the world, and in 
proportion as any part of that picture is in unison with 
the rest, so may we feel sure that it is rightly painted. 
Shall Biology alone remain out of harmony with her 
sister sciences ? 

Such arguments against the hypothesis of the direct 
creation of species as these are plainly enough deducible 
from general considerations ; but there are, in addition, 
phcenomena exhibited by species themselves, and yet 
not so much a part of their very essence as to have 
required eai-lier mention, which are in the highest degree 
perplexing, if we adopt the popularly accepted hypo- 
thesis. Such are the facts of distribution in space and 
in time ; the singular ph.'enomena brought to light by 
the study of development ; the atructund relations of 
I species upon which our systems of classification are 



founded ; the great doctrines of philosophical anatomj 
such as that of homology, or of the community 
structural plan exhibited by large groups of spet-ief 
differing very widely in their habits and fiinctiona. 

The species of animala which inhabit the sea 
opposite sides of the isthmus of Panama are whollj 
distinct ; ^ the animals and plants which inhabit island 
are commonly distinct from tiiose of the neighbourinj 
maiulauJa, and yet have a similarity of aspect Thi 
mammals of the latest tertiary epoch in the Old i 
New Worlds belong to the same genera, or familj 
groups, as those which now inhabit the same grca 
geographical area. The crocodilian reptiles which existei 
in the earliest secondary epoch were similar in genera 
structure to those now living, but exhibit slight differ 
ences in their vertebrae, naaal passages, and one or tw( 
other points. The guinea-pig has teeth which are shet 
before it is born, and hence can never subserve i 
masticatory purpose for which they seem contrived, antt 
in like manner, the female dugong has tusks whici 
never cut the gum. All the members of the 
great group run through similar conditions in tha 
development, and all their parts, in the adult state, as 
arranged according to the same plan. Man is more hkl 
a gorilla than a gorilla is like a lemur. Such are a feWj 
taken at random, among the multitudes of similar fact! 
which modern research has established ; but when tbi 
student Reeks for an cxplauation of them from the sup- 
porters of the received hypothesis of the origin of specie^ 
the reply he receives ia, in substance, of Oriental am- 

I Recent JDVcstigattoua tend to show Uiat tlua sUtemetit la Qot i 
tccumtc.— 1870. 




plicity and brevity—" Mashailah ! it so pleases God ! " 
There are different species on opposite sides of the 
isthmus of Panama, because they were created diff';rpnt 
on the two sides. The pliocene mammals are like Ihc 
existing ones, because such was the plan of creation ; 
and we finti rudimenfcil organs and similarity of plan, 
because it has pleased the Creator to set before hiinwdf 
a "divine exemplar or archetype," and to copy it in bU 
works ; and somewhat ill, those who hold thin view 
imply, in some of them. That such verbal hofUB-jjocuii 
should be received as science will one day be reganlw) 
as evidence of the low state of intelligence in the ni/ie- 
teenth century, just as we amuse oureclvcn with tjje 
phraseology about Nature's abhorrence of a va'-uuin, J 
wherewith TorricelU'a compatriots were tutijsfiiU'J t» J 
explain the rise of water in a pump. And be it rwy^ 
lected that this sort of satisfaction works not 'Mif ' 
negative but positive ill, by dis<;ouragiug 'm^mry, miA 
so depriving man of the usufruct of <nK d ffcr'awnrt 
fertile fields of his great patrimony, yst(ir«. 

The objections to the doctrine of tlw: *in$^ *4 aw^iu* 
by special creation which have bet^ AfAwJuA, ImM Ihi«'« 
occurred, with more or less force, to tlw Htt4 »4 leVttrj 
one who has seriously and indcpeodeadf eMMMwuxi tlM 
subject. It is therefore do vwidfr tfii^ Ami tiaw i» 
time, this hypothesis eboaU kaitt Ixni MM* \/f CMOrtcr-l 
hypotheses, all as weU. and tmmt iMtitf; flilMliil liiM 
itself ; and it is cnriofM to rhhHIe iImC dw wwaAan «f 
the opposing views mam to Wv« \mm M lato tboB 
as much by their knowledge W ^Mkcf. M ^ tfaar J 
acquaintance with biolugy. la fac^ wkn dw «dnd Inai 
B admitted the cotic«ptMB «r Ae il 

^^ue odji 


of the present physical state of our globe, hy natunJ 
causes operating through long ages of time, it will be 
little disposed to allow that living beings have made 
their appearance in another way, and the speculations oj 
De Maillet an<I his successors are the natural complcmen! 
of Scilla'a demonstration of the true natui'e of fossils. 

A contemporary of Newton and of Leibnitz, sharing 
therefore in the intellectual activity of the remaxkablf 
ago which witnessed the birth of modem phyaic^ 
science, BenoU de Maillet spent a long life as a consultf 
agent of the French Government in various Meditas 
ranean ports. For sixteen years, in fact, he held thft 
oflicc of Consul- General in Egypt, and the wonderfrf 
phtenomena offered by the valley of the Nile appear to 
have strongly impressed his mind, to have directed hii 
attention to all facts of a similar order which came within 
his observation, and to have led him to speculate on th( 
origin of the present condition of our globe and of iti 
inhabitants. But, with all his ardour for science, Di 
Maillet seems to have hesitated to publish views which 
notwithstanding the ingenious attempts to reconcii 
them with the Hebrew hypothesis contained in tl 
preface to " Telliamed," were hardly likely to be receivi 
with favour by his contemporaries. 

But a short time had elapsed since more than one 
the great anatomists and physicists of the Italian ache 
had paid dearly for their endeavours to dissipate some 
the prevalent errors ; and their illustrious pupQ, Harvejl 
the founder of modem physiology, had not ftu-ed so well 
in a country less oppressed by the benumbing influcm 
of theology, as to tempt any man to follow his exampl 
Probably not uninfluenced by these considerations, 


C'atholic majoety's Consul-General for Egypt kept his 
theories to himself throughout a long life, for "Telli- 
amej," the only scientific work which is known to have 
proceeded from his pen, was not printed till 1735, when 
its author had reached the ripe age of seventy-nine ; and 
though De Maillet lived three years longer, his book was 
uot given to the world before 1748. Even then it was 
anonymous to those who were not in the secret of the 
anagramatic character of its title ; and the preface and 
dedication are so worded as, in case o-f necessity, to give 
the printer a fair chance of falling back on the excuse 
that the ^pork was intended for a mere jeu d'esprit 

The speculations of the supposititious Indian sage, 
thougU quite as sound as those of many a " Mosaic 
Geology," which sells exceedingly wl'11, have no great 
value if we consider them by the light of modem 
science. The waters ai-e supposed to have originally 
covered the whole globe ; to have deposited the rocky 
masses which compose its mountains by processes com- 
parable to those which are now forming mud, sand, and 
shingle ; and then to have gradually lowered their level, 
leaving the spoils of their animal and vegetable inhabi- 
tants embedded in the strata. As the dry land appeared, 
certain of the aquatic animals are supposed to have 
taken to it, and to have become gradually adapted to 
teiTestrial and aerial modes of existence. But if we 
regard the general tenor and style of the reasoning in 
relation to the state of knowledge of the day, two 
circumstances appear very well worthy of remark. The 
first, that De Maillet had a notion of the modifiability of 
living forms (though without any precise information on 
the subject), and how such modifiability might accoiiut 

for the origin of species ; the second, that lie very 
clearly apprehended the great modem geological doc- 
trine, 80 strongly insisted upon by Hiitton, and so 
ably and comprehensively expounded by Lyell, that we 
must look to existing causes for the explanation of past 
geological events. Indeed, the following passage of the 
preface, in which De Maillet is supposed to speak of the 
Indian philosopher Telliamed, his alter ego, might have 
heen written by the most philosophical unifonnitarian of 
the present day : — 

" Ce qn'il y a d'ctonnont, est qtie p'^ur arriver it cea connousanceB 
i Bemhle avoir perverti I'ordre natmel, pui-qa'au lieu de a'otlacher 
d'ubord k recherther Vorigiae de noire globe U a commence pu 
tmvailler k a'inatruire de la nalure. IkUis fi I'eiiteiidre, ce ronverse- g 
ment de I'ordre a &ti pour lui I'effet d'un giSnie favorable qui l%i| 
conduit pas k pas et comma par la main aux d^couvertcs lea plin " 
Bubliiuos. C'eat en d^uomposant la aubi^taiicD de ce globe par une 
anatoniio exaete de toutes aea parlies qu'il a premi^roment appris de 
quelles motitrea U etait cotnposiS et ijiiela arraD>;emen8 eea mcmes 
mati^res obaervaient entre elles. Ces lumicrea jointes k I'esprit de 
cntnparaiaoD toujourB n^ceasoire k qiiiconqiie eutreprend de penxrlca 
voilea dont la nature aime k Be cacber, out servi de guide k notra 
pliiloaoplie pour parvenir k dea connoissanees plua ini6resaantes. Par 
la niati^ra et rarrangemeut de (xa com positions il pretend avmr 
reconru quelle eat la vuritable origine de ce globe que nooa tubihrn^ 
comment et par qui il a ^to forme." — Pp. xix. ix. 

But De Maillet was before bis age, and as couldl 
hardly fitil to happen to one who specidated on a zoolo- 1 
gical and botanical question before LinuEeus, and on ( 
physiological problem before Haller, he fell into great! 
errors here and there; and hence, perhaps, the general 1 
neglect of his work. Robinet's speculations are rather 9 
behind, than in advance of, those of De Maillet ; and 1 
though Linnajus may have played with the hj-pothesBj 
of transmutation, it obtained no serious support untiy 


Lamarck adopted it, and advocated it with great ability 
in his " Philoaophie Zoologique." 

Impelled towai'ds the hypothesis of the transmutation 
of species, partly by his general cosmologieal and geolo- 
gical views ; partly by the conception of a graduated, 
though irregularly branehing, scale of being, which had 
arisen out of his profound study of plants and of the 
lower forms of animal life, Lamarck, whose general line 
of thought often closely resembles that of De Maillet, 
made a great advance upon the crude and merely specu- 
lative manner in which that writer deals with the ques- 
tion of the origin of living beings, by endeavouring to 
find physical causes competent to effect that change of 
one species into another, which De Maillet had only 
supposed to occur. And Lamarck conceived that he 
had found in Nature such canscs, amply suflScient for the 
purpose in view. It is a physiological fact, he says, that 
organs are increased in size by action, atrophied by 
inaction ; it is another physiological fact that modifica- 
tions produced are transmissible to ofispring. Change 
the actions of an animal, therefore, and you will change 
its structure, by increasing the development of the parts 
newly brought into use and by the diminution of those 
k'88 used ; but by altering the circumstances which 
surround it you will alter its actions, and hence, in the 
long run, change of circumstance must produce change 
of organization. All the species of animals, therefore, 
are, in Lamarck's view, the result of the indii'cet action 
of changes of circumstance upon those primitive germs 
which he con.sidered to have originally arisen, by spon- 
taneous generation, within the waters of the globe. It 
is ciuious, however, that Lamarck should insist so 


ome J 


strongly^ as be has done, that cirrumstances never in ' 
any degree directly modify the form or the organization 
of animals, but only operate by changing their wants 
and consequently their actions ; for he thereby brings 
upon himself the obvious question, how, then, do plants, 
which cannot be said to have wants or actions, become | 
modified ? To this he replies, that they are modified 
by the changes in their nutritive processes, which areT 
efiected by changing circumstances ; and it does not 
seem to have occurred to him that such changes might . 
be as well supposed to take place among animak. 

When we have said that Lamarck felt that mei 
speculation was not the way to arrive at the origin < 
species, but that it waa necessary, in order to the estal 
lishraent of any sound theory on the subject, to diacoT^ 
by observation or otherwise, some vera cmim, competei 
to give rise to them ; that he aflirmed the true order i 
classification to coincide with the order of their develop 
ment one from another ; tltat he insisted on the necessifc 
of allowing sufiicient time, very strongly ; and that i 
the varieties of instmct and reason were traced back \ 
him to the same cause as that which has given rise 1 
species, we have enumerated his chief contributions 1 
the advance of the question. On the other hand, froi 
his ignorance of any power in Nature competent ' 
modify the structure of animals, except the devclopmO 
of parts, or atrophy of them, in consequence of a chanj 
of needs, Lamarck was led to attach infinitely great) 
weight than it deserves to this agency, and the absn 
ditics into which he was led have met with desen 
condemnation. Of the struggle for existence, on whic 
' Se« Phil. ZoologiquB, vol. i. p. 222, et teq. 

rffff nRTQW or sfectk^. 319 

as, .we shall see, Mr. Darwin lays such great stress, he had 
no conception ; indeed, he doubts whether there really 
are such things as extinct species, unless they he such 
lai^e animals as may have met theii" death at the hands 
of man ; and so little docs he dream of thei-e being any 
other destructive causes at work, that, in discussing 
the possible existence of fossil shells, he asks, " Pourqnoi 
d'ailleurs seroient-ils perdues dfes que I'homme n'a pu 
op^rer leur destruction?" (Phil. Zool, vol. i. p. 77.) 
Of the influence of selection Lamarck has as little 
notion, and he makes no use of the wonderful pheno- 
mena which are exhibited by domesticated animals, and 
illustrate its powers. The influence of Cuvier was 
employed against the Lamarckian views, and, as the 
untenability of some of his conclusions was easily 
shown, hia doctrines sank under the opprobium of 
scientific, as well as of theological, heterodoxy. Nor 
have the efforts made of late years to revive them 
tended to re-establish their credit in the minds of sound 
thinkers acquainted with the facta of the ease ; indeed 
It may be doubted whether Lamarck has not suffered 
more from his friends than from his foes. 

Two years ago, in fact, though we venture to question 
if even the strongest supporters of the special creation 
hypothesis had not, now and then, an uneasy conscious- 
ness that all was not right, their position seemed more 
impregnable than ever, if not by its own inherent strength, 
at any rate by the obvious failure of all the attempts 
which had been made to carry it. On the other hand, 
however much the few, who thought deeply on the 
question of species, might be repelled by the generally 
received dogmas, they saw no way of escaping from 

them, Bave by tbe adoption of suppositioDs, so little jus- 
tified by experiment or by observation, as to be at least 
equally distasteful. 

The choice lay between two absurdities and a middle 
condition of uneasy scepticism ; which last, however 
unpleasant and unsatisfactory, was obviously the only 
justifiable state of mind under the circumstances. 

Such being the general ferment in the minds of 
naturalists, it Is no wonder that they mustered strong in 
the rooms of the Linnsean Society, on the Ist of July of 
the year 1858, to hear two pai>ers by authors Kving 
on opposite sides of the globe, working out their results 
independently, and yet professing to have discovered one 
and the same solution of all the problems connected ^-ith 
species. The one of these authors was an able naturalist, 
Mr. Wallace, who had been employed for some years ii 
studying the productions of the islands of the Indi 
Archipelago, and who had forwarded a memoir embodw 
iug his \'iewa to Tilr. Darwin, for communication to t 
LinnEean Society. On perusing the essay, Mr. Dai 
was not a little surprised to find that it embodied son 
of the leading ideas of a great work which he had 1 
preparing for twenty years, and parts of which, conta 
ing a development of the verj' same views, had 1 
perused by his private friends fifteen or sixteen yew 
before. Perplexed in what majiner to do full justi 
both to his friend and to himself, Mr. Darwin pla( 
the matter in the hands of Dr. Hooker and Sir Charl(| 
Lyell, by whose advice he communicated a brief abstt 
of his own views to the Linnisan Society, at the i 
time that Mr. Wallace's paper was read. Of that abstra 
the work on the " Origin of Species " is an eulargemei 


but a complete statement of Mr, Darwin's doctrine ia 
looked for in the large and well-illustrated work which 
he is said to be preparing for publication. 

The Dar\\dnian hypothesia baa the merit of Iwing 
eminently simple and comprehensible in principle, and 
its essential positions may be stated in a verj' few words : 
all species have been produced by the development of 
varieties from common stocks by the conversion of these 
first into permanent races and then into new species, 
by the process of natural seltction, which process is 
essentially identical with that artificial selection by which 
man has originated the races of domestic animals — the 
struggle/or existence taking the place of man, and exert- 
ing, in the case of natural selection, that selective action 
which he perfoims in artificial selection. 

The evidence brought forward by Mr. Dai'wiii in 
support of his hypothesis is of three kinds. First, he 
endeavours to prove that species may be originated by 
selection ; secondly, he attempts to show that natural 
causes are competent to exert selection ; and thiidly, be 
tries to prove that the most remarkaljle and apparently 
anomalous phasnomena exhibited by the distribution, de- 
velopment, and mutual relations of species, can be shown 
to be deducible from the general doctrine of their origin, 
which he propounds, combined with the known facts of 
geological change ; and that, even if all these phaenomena 
are not at present explicable by it, none are necessaiily 
inconsistent with it. 

There cannot be a doubt that the method of inquiry 
which Mr. Darwin has adopted is not only rigorously in 
irdanee with the canons of scientific logic, but tba.t, It 



is the only adequate method. Critics exclusively trained 
in classics or iu mathematics, who ha\'e never detenuiuedi 
scioutific fact in their lives by induction from cxperimeml 
or observation, prate learnedly about Mr. Darwin'g 
method, whiclf is not inductive enough, not Baeoman 
enough, forsooth, for them. But even if practical aoi 
quaintance with the process of scientific investigation i| 
denied them, they may learn, by the perusal of Me, 
Mill's admirable chapter " On the Deductive Slethod," 
that there are multitudes of scientific inquiries, in which 
the method of pure induction helps the investigator bui 
a very little way. 

" The mode of iiivestigation," Gays Mr. Mill, " which, from th> 
pvovtid inapjilicability of direct methoda of obaetvation and exparir 
mant, romnina to ua as the main Boiirce of the knowledge we poaseov 
01' can acquire, respecting the conditions and laws of recurrence of tha 
more complex phiBnomoua, ia called, in itfl moat general expressioi^ 
the deductive method, and consists of three operations ; the £ist, on* 
of direct induction j the second, of ratiocination ; and the thitd, 

Now, the conditions which have determined the es 
iatence of species are not only exceedingly complt 
but, so far as the great majority of them are concemod^ 
are necessarily beyond our cognizance. But what Ms 
Darwin has attempted to do is in exact accordance witi 
the rule laid down by Mr. Mill ; he has endeavoured 
determine certain great facts inductively, by observ*ati( 
and experiment ; he has then reasoned from the dati 
thus furnished ; and lastly, he has tested the validity 
his ratiocination by compai'ing his deductions with th| 
observed facta of Natui-e. Inductively, Mr. Darwin ei 
deavours to prove that species arise in a given wa] 
leductively, he desires to show that, if they ariac in tha 

111.] THE ORiaiN OF SPECIES. 323 

way, the facts of distribution, development, classification, 
Ac, may be accounted for, i. c. may be deduced from 
their mode of origin, combined with admitted changes in 
physical geography and climate, during an indefinite 
jieriod. And this explanation, or coincidence of observed 
with deduced facts, is, so far as it extends, a verification 
of the Darwinian view. 

There is no fault to be found with Mr, Darwin's 
method, then ; but it is another question whether he has 
fulfilled all the conditions imposed by that method. Is 
it satiafactoiily proved, in fact, that species may be 
originated by selection? that there is such a thing as 
natural selection ? that none of the ph^enomena exhibited 
1 ly species are inconsistent with the origin of species in this 
way ? If these questions can be answered in the affirm- 
ative, Mr. Darwin's view steps out of the ranks of hypo- 
theses into those of proved theories ; but, so long as the 
evidence at present adduced falls short of enforcing that 
affirmation, so long, to our minds, must the new doctrine 
be content to remain among the former — an extremely 
valuable, and in the highest degree probable, doctrine, 
indeed the only extant hypothesis which ia worth any- 
thing in a scientific point of view ; but still a hypothesis, 
and not yet the theory of species. 

k After much consideration, and with assuredly no bias 
ainst Mr. Darwin's views, it is our clear conviction 
at, as the evidence stands, it is not absolutely proven 
that a group of animals, having all the characters exhi- 
bited by species in Nature, has ever been originated by 
selection, whether artificial or natural. Groups having 
the morphological character of species, distinct and per- 
^■juanent races in fact, have been so produced over a.Ti'i. 




over again ; but there is no positive endence, at preeent, 
that any group of animals has, by variation and selective 
breeding, given lise to another group which was even in 
the least degree infertile with the first. Mr. Darwin is 
perfectly awnre of this weak point, and brings forward a 
multitude of ingenious and important arguments to di- 
minish the force of the objection. We admit the value 
of these arguments to their fullest extent ; nay, we will 
go BO far as to express our belief that experiments, con- 
ducted by a skilful physiologist, would very probably 
obtain the desired production of mutually more or less 
infertile breeds from a common stock, in a comparatively 
few years ; but still, as the case stands at present, this 
"little rift within the lute" is not to be disguised nor 

In the remainder of ]VL'. Darwin's argument .our own 
private ingenuity haa not hitherto enabled us to pick 
lioles of any great importance ; and judging by what we 
hear and read, other adventurers in the same field do not 
seem to have been much more fortunate. It has been 
urged, for instance, that in his chapters on the struggle 
for existence and on natural selection, Mr. Darwin does 
not 80 much prove that natural selection does occur, as 
that it must occur ; but, in fact, no other sort of demonstra- 
tion is attainable. A race does not attract our attention 
in Nature until it has, in all probability, existed for a 
fionaiderable time, and then it is too late to inquire into 
the conditions of its origin. Again, it is said that there 
is no real analogy between the selection which takes 
place under domestication, by human influence, and any 
operation which can be effected by Nature, for man inters 
feres intelligently. Reduced to its elements, this argu- 


meut impliea that an effect produced with trouble by an 
intelligent agent muat, ^ybri/oj-i, be more troublesome, if 
not impossible, to an unintelligent agent. Even putting 
aside the question whether Nature, acting as she does 
according to definite and inyariuble laws, can be rightly 
called an uniuteltigeut agent, such a position as this ia 
whofly untenable. Mix salt and sand, and it shall puzzle 
the wisest of men, ^"ith his mere natural appliances, to 
separate all the grains of sand from all the grains of ssilt ; 
but a shower of rain will effect the same object in ten 
minutes. And so, while man may find it tax all his in- 
telligence to separate any variety which arises, and to 
breed selectively from it, the destructive agencies iaces- 
santly at work in Nature, if they find one variety to be 
more soluble in circumstances than the other, will inevit- 
ably, in the long run, eliminate it. 

A frequent and a just objection to the Lamarekian 
hypothesis of the transmutation of species is baaed upon 
the absence of transitional forms between many species. 
■ But against the Darwinian hypothesis this argument has 
no force. Indeed, one of the most valuable and sugges- 
tive parts of Mr. Darwin's work is that in which he 
proves, that the frequent absence of transitions is a ne- 
cessary consequence of his doctrine, and that the stock 
whence two or more species have sprung, need in no 
respect be intermediate between these species. If any 
two species have arisen from a common stock in the same 
way as the carrier and the pouter, say, have arisen from 
the rock-pigeon, then the common stock of these two 
species need be no more intermediate between the two 
than the rock-pigeon is between the carrier and pouter. 
llewly appreciate the force of this analogy, and all the 


ili^j -J -■-•v X- rL ^tJJdJSaSL ,1S^ 3u^Z£^S. ^u. 

STnieirs iiTiinic "fit igch- :r Jceciis ry acierdoii, based 

T'.zii 'JLr. inii' ir.:SiL * -J" rrwj *.a "N^v? «Jfii«,"" which 
15 it: ts: -Orn. zi ii:- "a^ziei ^f r«=i>rTc. && we have 

'L ii>.~f. fiiiz yirxT: i*:^^ maif ^"izire now and then. 

ii«L i r^:'.s:i-.':i':ii :c tic zmti is re e.o ^n^ill impoitance 
in ijfr...siz:r -C ziiiz.- xizj.T ^creidoc^s ;o die d-Dotrine 
;l TTi^ifaiA::;;!:'.!:. 

Fu.1 TT: ziLsc Tu::3ir. T!i»r -liaCTis&rc of Mr. Darwin's 
irznit:-!-^ iJi LtTjjI Tr.ul'i l»ri^ TiS slt i^rTond the limits 
v-iiiiz. Va:«.:i ^r-f rrrcceeii. xz srartin-z. to confine this 

irtj-'if. »."*ir riir^'.'T ijts '>=«3. aziiin-ed if we have given 
iz. iz.rcLli;^i':I»f. i':Tr^T=r brled a«t>azLi of the established 
£11:3 z^zzzkkZ'z*! -k-.zz. fwejies. and of tbe lotion of the 
•'.'r. .1 rirst iiirs o^rred bv Mr. Darwin to the 
ti'T-rr^fTijal vie"^r5 i-l-l ':t lis pn=decessors and his con- 
trrdTrrirl::?. iz»i. ico^r: ill 10 die requiiemenis of scien- 
±:: 1:-^::. Wf Liv^ vcnmr^i to point out that it does* 
n: :. :u? t-::. sarisrr all tb.'-''ee req:iirements : but we do not 
L-rri::i:e zo asstrr :ha: ir is as sufi^iior to any preceding 
or contemp-jrary h.yp^?:hesis* in the extent of observational 
and eip^rlmenral basL? on which it rests^ in its rigorously 
scienrlfio meth-jd, and in its power of explaining biol> 
gical phaenomena, as was the hypothesis of Copernicus to 
the speculations of Ptolemy. But the planetary orbits 
turned out to be not quite circular after all, and, grand 
a« was the service Copernicus rendered to science, Kepler 
and Newton had to come after him, "WTiat if the orbit 
of Darwinism should be a little too circidar ? What if 
species should offer residual phsenomena, here and tl)pre, 



t explicable by natunil selection 1 Twenty years hence 
ilists may be in a position to say whether this is, or 
! not, the case ; but in either event they will owe the 
author of "The Origin of Species" an immense debt of 
gratitude. We should leave a very \vTong impression on 
the reader's mind if we permitted him to suppose that 
the value of that work depends wholly on the ultimate 
justification of the theoretical views which it contains. 
On the contrary, if they were disproved to-morrow, the 
book would still be the best of its kind — the most com- 
pendious statement of well-sifted facta bearing on the 
doctrine of species that has ever appeared. The chapters 
on Variation, on the Struggle for Exiwtence, on Instinct, 
on Hybridism, on the Imperfection of the Geological 
Record, on Geographical Distribution, have not only no 
equals, but, so far as our knowledge goes, no competitorE, 
within the range of biological literature. And viewed as 
a whole, we do not believe that, since the publication of 
Von Bacr's Besearches on Development, thirty years ago, 
any work has appeared calculated to exert so large an 
influence, not only on the future of Biology, but in ex- 
tending the domination of Science over regions of thought 
into which she has, as yet, hardly penetrated. 




A. KoLLiKER. Leipzig, 1864. 

S. Examination du Livrb db M. Darwin sub i«'Orioinb dbs EsrtciB. 
Par P. Flourens. Paris, 1864. 

In the course of the present year [1864] several foreign 
commentaries upon Mr. Darwin's great work have made 
their appearance. Those who have perused that re- 
markable chapter of the " Antiqtiity of Man," in which 
Sir Charles Lyell draws a parallel between the develop- 
ment of species and that of languages, will be glad to 
hear that one of the most eminent philologers of Ger- 
many, Professor Schleicher, has, independently, published 
a most instructive and philosophical pamphlet (an excel- 
lent notice of which is to be found in the Reader, 
for February 27th of this year) supporting similar views 
with all the weight of his special knowledge and 
established authority as a linguist. Professor Haeckd, 
to whom Schleicher addresses himself, previously took 
occasion, in his splendid monosraph on the Radiolaria} 

1 a 

Die Radiolarien : eine Monographie,'' p. 231. 


\ express his higli appreciation oi, and general concord- 
ice with, Mr. Darwin's views. 

I But the most elaborate criticiama of the '* Origin of 
tecies" which have appeared are two works of very 
dely different merit, the one by Professor KoUiker, the 
1-known anatomist and histologist of WUrzburg-; the. 
iier by M. Flourea^, Perpetual Secretary of the French 
ademy of Sciences. 
I Professor Kblliker's critical essay " Upon the Dar- 
nian Theory " is, like all that proceeds from the pen 
E that thoughtful and accomplished writer, worthy of 
J most careful consideration. It comprises a brief but 
EJear sketch of Darwin's views, followed by an enume- 
ration of the leading difficulties in the way of their 
acceptance ; difficulties which would appear to be insur- 
mountable to Professor KoUiker, inasmuch as he proposes 
to replace Mr. Darwin's Theory by one which he terms 
the " Theory of Heterogeneous Generation." AVe shall 
proceed to consider first the destructive, and secondly, 
^—Jlie constructive portion of the essay. 
^H We regret to find ourselves compelled to dissent very 
^Ridely from many of Professor Kolliker's remarks ; and 
from none more thoroughly than from those in which he 
seeks to define what we may term the philosophical 
position of Darwinism. 

" Darwin," says Professor KoUiker, " ia, in the fulleat sense of the 
wor^, a Teleologist He says quite distinctly (First Editioa, pp. 199, 
200) that every particular in the stnicture of sn animal has been 
created for its benefit, and be regards the whole series of animal forms 
only from this point of view." 

I And again : 
' 7. The teleologicul general conception adopted by Darwin is a 

iken one. 


" Varieties arise IrreBpectively of the notion of purpose, or of atilitf, 
according to fjeneral laws of Nature, and may be either useful, or 
hurtful, or indiflerent, 

" The aaRumption that an organism exists only on accosnt of soma 
definite end in view, and repreaenta something more than the incor- 
poration of a general idea, or law, implies a one-sided conception of 
the universe. Assuredly, every organ has, and every organism fulfill, 
its end, hut its purpose is not the condition of its existence. Every 
organism is also sufficiently perfect for the purpose it serves, and in 
that, at least, it is useless to seek for a cause of its improTement." 

It is siiigulai' liow clifferently one and the same book 
will impress different minds. That which struck the 
present writer most forcibly on his first perusal of the 
" Origin of Species" was the conviction that Teleology, 
as commonly understood, had received its deathblow at 
Mr. Darwin's hands. For the teleological argument runs 
thus : an organ or organism (A) is precisely fitted to 
perform a function or purjwse (B) ; therefore it waa 
specially constructed to perform that function. In 
Paley's famous illustration, the adaptation of all the 
parts of the watch to the function, or piupose, of Bhow< 
ing the time, is held to be evidence that the watch wai 
specially contrived to that end ; on the ground, that tht 
only cause we know of, competent to produce such ail 
effect as a watch which shall keep time, is a contriving 
intelligence adapting the means directly to that end. 

Suppose, however, that any one had been able to sho' 
that the watch had not been made directly by any; 
person, but that it waa the result of the modificatioD 
of another watch which kept time but poorly ; and (hi 
this again had proceeded from a structure which couM 
hardly be called a watch at all — seeing that it had ni 
figures on the dial and the hands were rudimentary 
and that going back and back in time we came at las 


to a revolving barrel as the earliest traceable rudiment 
of the whole fabric. And imagine that it had been 
possible to show that all these changes had resulted, first, 
from a tendency of the structure to vary indefinitely ; 
and secondly, from something in the surrounding world 
which helped all variations in the direction of an accu- 
rate time-keeper, and checked all those in other directions ; 
then it is obvious that the force of Paley's argument 
would be gone. For it would be demonstrated that an 
apparatus thoroughly well adapted to a particular pur- 
pose might be the result of a method of trial and error 
worked by unintelligent agents, as well as of the direct 
application of the means appropriate to that end, by an 
intelligent agent. 

Now it appears to us that what we have here, for illus- 
tration's sake, supposed to be done with the watch, is 
exactly what the establishment of Darwin's Theory will 
do for the organic world. For the notion that cvcrj' 
organism has been created as it is and launched straight 
at a purpose, Mr. Darwin substitutes the conception of 
something which may fairly be termed a method of trial 
and error. Organisms vary incessantly ; of these varia- 
tions the few meet with surrounding conditions which 
suit them and thrive ; the many are unsuited and be- 
come extinguished. 

According to Teleology, each organism is like a rifle 
bullet fired straight at a mark; according to Darwin, 
organisms are like grnpeshot of which one hits some- 
thing and the rest fall wide. 

For the teleologist an organism exists because it was 
made for the conditions in which it is found ; for the 
Darwinian an organism exists because, out of many of 



its kind, it ia the only one which has been able to persifll 
in the conditions in which it is found. 

Teleology implies that the organs of every organisil 
are perfect and cannot be improved ; the Darwiniaj 
theory simply affirms that they work well enough ' 
enable the organism to hold its own against such colli 
petitors as it has met with, but admits the possibility a 
indefinite improvement. But an example may brinj 
into clearer light the profound opposition between ths 
ordinary teleological, and the Darwinian, conception. 

Cats catch mice, small birds and the like, very wel 
Teleology tells us that they do so because they wei 
expressly constructed for so doing-^that they are perfec 
mousing apparatuses, so perfect and so delicately i 
justed that no one of their organs could be alterefl 
without the change involving the alteration of all th 
rest. Darwinism affirms, on the eontrarj', that thet 
was no express construction concerned in the matter 
but that among the multitudinous variations of th* 
Feline stock, many of which died out from want oj 
power to resist opposing influences, some, the eats, wei 
better fitted to catch mice than others, whence th^ 
throve and persisted, in proportion to the advantag 
over their fellows thus ofiered to them. 

Far from imagining that cats exist in order to catd 
mice well, Darwinism supposes that cats exist becaia 
they catch mice well— mousing being not the end, bi 
the condition, of their existence. And if the cat-typi 
has long persisted as we know it, the interpretation e 
the fact upon Darwinian principles would be, not 1 
the cats have remained invariable, but that such varietia 
$s have incessantly occurred have been, on the who] 


less fitted to get on in the world than the existing 

If we apprehend the spirit of the " Origin of Speeiea " 
rightly, then, nothing can be more entirely and abso- 
lutely opposed to Teleology, as it La eommonly under- 
stood, than the Darwinian Theory. So far from being 
a " Teleologist in the fullest sense of the word," we 
should deny that he is a Teleologist in the ordinary 
sense at all ; and we should say that, apart from his 
merits as a naturalist, he has rendered a most remarkable 
service to philosophical thought by enabling the student 
of Nature to recognise, to their fullest extent, those adap- 
tations to purpose which- are so striking in the organic 
world, and which Teleology has done good service in 
keeping before our minds, without being false to the 
fundamental principles of a scientific conception of the 
universe. The apparently diverging teachings of the 
Teleologist and of the Morphologist are reconciled by 
the Darwinian hypothesis. 

But leaving our own impressions of the " Origin of 
Species," and turning to those passages specially cited by 
Professor KoUiker, we cannot admit that they bear the 
interpretation he puts upon them. Darwin, if we read 
him rightly, does not afiirm that eveiy detail in the 
structure of an animal has been created for its benefit. 
His words arc (p. 199) : — 

" The foregoing remarks lead me to say a few worja on the proteat 
lately made by some Doturaliata against the utilitarian doctrine that 
every detail of structure has been produced for the good of its poBseasor. 
They believe that very many structures have been created for beauty 
in the eyes of man, or for mere variety. This doctrine, if true, would 
be absolutely fatal to my theory — yet I fully admit that many struc- 
of no direct use to their posaessor," 


And after sundry illustrations and qualifications, li^| 
concludes (p. 200) ;— ^| 

" Hence every detail of atmcture in every living croatore (makiq^H 
some little allowance for the direct action of physical conditiona) mq^f 
bu viewed either aa having been of special use to some artcesttal fonB(^| 
or OS being now of special uae to the descendants of this form— citlM^I 
directly, or indirectly, tlirough the complex laws of growth." H 

But it is one thing to say, Darwinically, that eveijB 
detail observed iu an animal's structure is of use to 1^.1 
or has been of use to its ancestors ; and quite auothecfl 
to affirm, teleologically, that every detail of an animal'sfl 
structure has been created for its benefit. On the formoM 
hypothesis, for example, the teeth of the fcetal Bnkenn^^ 
have a meaning ; on the latter, none. So far aa we are 1 
aware, there is not a phrase in the " Origin of Species," \ 
inconsistent with Professor Kollikei-'a position, that " va- 
rieties arise irrespectively of the notion of purpose, ur 
of utility, according to general laws of Nature, and may i 
be either useful, or hurtful, or indifferent" ] 

On the contrary, Mr. Darwin writes {Summary of 
Chap. V.) :— 

" Oar ignorance of the laws of variation ia profound. Not in one 
case out of a hundred can wo pretend to assign any reason why thia oi 
that port varies more or leas from the same part in the parents. , . . . 
The external conditions of life, aa climate and food, &c. seem to have 
induced some slight roodifications. Habit, in producing eonstitotional 
difference^ rind uae, in strengthening, and disuse, in weakening and 
dioiinishing organs, seem to have been more potent in their effects." 

And finally, as if to prevent all possible misconceptjou. 
Mr. Darwin concludes his Chapter on Variation willi 
these pregnant words:— 

" \^'hat«ver the cauae may be of each slight difference in the o&pniig 
from their parents— and a cause for each mnat exist — it 

ipnag , 




(ttmmulatioi], through natural Belection of such differences, when bene- 
fit] to the individual, that gives rise to all the more important 
iDDdifications of atmcture, by which the innumerable beings on the 
&» of the earth are enabled to struggle with each other, and the beet 
idipted to survive," 

We have dwelt at length upon this subject, because of 
its great general importance, and because we believe that 
Professor Kollikcr's criticisms on this head are baaed 
upon a misapprehension of Mr. Darwin's views — sub- 
stantially they appear to us to coincide with his own. 
The other objcctiouB which Professor Kolliker enumerates 
and discusses are the following •} — 

" I. No transitional forms between existing species are known; 
and known varietiee, whether selected or spontaneous, never go so 
tai a& to estehlish new species." 

To this Professor Kolliker appears to attach some 
weight. He makes the suggestion that the short-faced 
tumbler pigeon may be a pathological product, 

" 2, Ko transitional forms of animals are met with among the 
organic remains of earlier epochs." 

Upon this, Profossor Kolliker remarks that the absence 
of transitional forms in the fossil world, though not ne- 
cesearily fatal to Darwin's views, weakens his case. 

"3. The struggle for existence does not take place." 

To this objection, urged l:>y Pelzeln, Kolliker, very 
justly, attaches no weight. 

" 4. A tendency of organisms to give rise to useful varieties, and 
a natural selection, do not exist. 

" Tlie varieties which are found arise in consequence of manifold 
«xt«nial inauences, and it is not obvious why they all, or partially, 

I Space will not allow ui to give ProfeMor Kbllikcr'a argnmenta in detail ; 
oar reoden will find a fiill and accurate version of ihom in the i!ea<i<r for 
Augiwt I3th and SOtb, 18(U. 




should be particularly useful Each animal suffices for its own ends, 
is perfect of its kind, and needs no further development. Should, 
however, a Tariet; be useful and even maintain itself, there is no 
obvious reason why it should chan^ any further. The whole coit , 
ceplion of the imperfection of organisms and the necessity of IJ 
becoming perfected is plainly the weakest ude of Darwin'a 
and a pi« alUt- (Notbbehelf) because Darvriu could think of no otiur 1 
principle by which to explain the uetomoi'pfaoees which, aa I also 
believe, have occurred." 

Here again we must venture to dissent conaplet* 
from Professor KoUiker'a conception of Mr. DamiaV 
hypothesis. It appears to us to be one of the maQfl 
peculiar merits of that hypothesis that it involves i 
belief in a necessary and continual progress of orgai 

Again, Mr. Darwin, if we read him aright, assum 
no special tendency of organisms to give rise to useful" 
varieties, and knows nothing of needs of development, 
or necessity of perfection. WTiat he says is, in sub- 
stance : All organisms vary. It is in the highest degi 
improbable that any given variety should have exactl]| 
the same relations to suiTounding conditions as 
paR'nt stock. In that case it is either better fitt 
(when the variation may be called useful), or woni 
fitted, to cope with them. If better, it will tend 1 
supplant the parent stock ; if worse, it will tend to 1 
extinguished by the parent stock. 

If (as is hardly conceivable) the new variety is so { 
fectly adapted to the conditions that no improvement upt 
it is possible,— it will persist, because, though it do« 
not cease to varj', the varieties will be inferior to its 

If, as is more probable, the new variety is by : 
means perfectly adapted to its conditions, but on] 
fairly well adapted to them, it will persist, so long i 


none of the varieties which it throws off are better 
adapted than itself. 

On the other hand, as soon as it varies in a useful 
way, i. e. when the variation is such as to adapt it more 
perfectly to its conditions, the fresh variety will tend 
to supplant the former. 

So far from a gradual progress towards perfection 
forming any necessary part of the Darwinian creed, it 
appears to us that it is perfectly consistent with indefinite 
persistence in one state, or with a gradual retrogression. 
Suppose, for example, a return of the glacial epoch and 
a spread of polar climatal conditions over the whole 
globe. The operation of natural selection under these cir- 
cumstances would tend, on the whole, to the weeding out 
of the higher organisms and the cherishing of the lower 
forms of life. Cryptogamic vegetation would have the 
advantage over Phanerogamic ; Hydrozoa over Corals ; 
Crustacea over Insecta, and Amphipoda and Isopoda 
over the higher Crustacea; Cetaceans and Seals over 
the Primates ; the civilization of the Esquimaux over 
A of the European. 

5. Pelzein has also objected that if tho later organisma have 
proceeded &om the earlier, the whole dovelopmeutal eeriea, from the 
BJmpleat to the highest, could not now exist; in auch a caae the 
Binipler organisms ninst have disappeared." 

To this Professor KolUker replies, with perfect justice, 
it the conclusion drawn by Pelzein does not really 
follow from Darwin's premises, and that, if wc take the 
facts of Palajontology as they stand, they rather support 
^ythan oppose Darwin's theory. 

^^B *■ 6. Great weight mufit be attached t« the objectioo brought forward 
^^fc Huxley, otherwiae a vftam supporter of Daiwiu'a hypothesis, that 





we kuoff of DO VLirieties which, are sterile with one another, as U 1 
tuIq among sharply distinguished animal foniis. 

"If Darwin is right, it must be demons Ira led that forms may 
prodaced by selection, which, like Ihe present sharply dlatbgnitbcd 
animal forms, are infertile when coupled with one another, ondllui 
has not been done." 

The weight of this objection is obvious ; but 
igQomnce of the conditions of fertihty and sterihty, 
the want of cai-efully conducted experiments estendiog 
over long series of years, and the strange anomalies 
presented by the results of the crosa-fertilization 
many plants, should all, as Mr. Darwin has urged, I* 
taken into account in conaideiing it. 

The seventh objection is that we have already dis- 
cussed {suprA, p. 329). 

The eighth and last stancU as follows : — 

" 8. The developmental theory of Darwin is not needed to enable 
to understand the regular harmonious progress of the complete serid 
of orgauio forma from the siraplnr tn the more pwfect. 

"The existence of general laws of Nature explains this harmonj, 
even if we assume that all beings have arisen separately and ind»- 
pendent of one another. Darwin forgets that inorganic nature, in 
which there can be no thought of a genetic counexioa of foim^ 
exhibits the same regular plan, the same harmony, as the o 
world ; and that, to cite only one example, there is as much a natnni 
system of minerals as of plants and animals." 

"We do not feel quite sure that we seize ProfcMor 
Kolliker's meaning here, but he appears to suggest that 
the observation uf the general order and harmony which: 
pervade inorganic nature, would lead us to anticipate 
similar order and harmony in the organic world. And 
this is no doubt true, but it by no means follows thai 
the particular order and harmony observed amonc them 
should be that which we see. Surely the stripes of dua 


, and the teeth of the ftetal Baliena, are not ex- 

Lued by the "existence of general laws of Nature." 

. Darwin endeavours to explain the exact order of 

ganin nature which exists ; not the mere fact tliat 

lere is some order. 

ad with regai-d to the existence of a natural system 
■ minerals ; the olivtoua reply is that there may be a. 
ttural classification of any objects — of stoiies on a sea- 
ich, or of works of art ; a natural elassifioation being 
an assemblage of objects in groups, so as to 
express their most important and fundamental re- 
semblances and differences. No doubt Mr. Darwin be- 
lieves that those resemblances and differences upon 
which our natural systems or classifications of animals 
and plants are based, are resemblaucea and differences 
which have been produced genetically, but we can dis- 
cover no reason for supposing that he denies the existence 
' natural classifications of other kinds. 
And, after all, is it quite 30 certain tliat a genetic 
lation may not underlie the classification of minerals ? 
1 inorganic world has not always been what we see 
It has certainly had its metamorphoses, and, very 
probably, a long " Entwickelungsgeschichte " out of a 
nebular blastema. Who knows how far that amount of 
likeness among eets of minerals, in virtue of which they 
are now grouped into families and orders, may not be 
the expression of the common conditions to which that 
particular patch of nebulous fog, which may have been 
constituted by their atoms, and of which they may be, 

tthe strictest sense, the descendants, was subjected ? 
It will be obvious from what has preceded, that we 
not agree with Professor KoUiker in thinking the 


objections which he brings forward so weighty as to be 
fatal to Darwin's view. But even if the case were other- 
wise, we should be unable to accept the " Theory of 
Heterogeneous Generation " which is offered as a sub- 
stitute. That theory is thus stated :— 

" The fundamental conception of Ihia hypolhesis is, that, under the 
influence of a general law of development, the genns of organism* 
produce others different from themselves. This might happen (I) by 
the fecundated ova passing, in the course of their development, under 
particular circumstances, into higher forms ; (2) bj the primitive and 
later organisms producing other organisms without fecundation, out of 
germs or eggs (Parthenogenesis)." 

In favour of this hypothesis. Professor KSlIiker ad- 
duces the well-known facts of Agamogenesis, or " alter- 
nate generation ; " the extreme dissimilarity of the 
males and females of many animals ; and of the males, 
females, and neuters of those ineects which live in 
colonies : and he defines its relations to tlie Darwinian 
theory as follows : — 

" It is obvious that my hypothesis ia apparently very aimilar to 
Darwin's, inasmuch as I also consider that the various forme of 
animals have proceeded directly from one another. My hypoth( 
the creation of organisms by hetorogeneous generation, however, it 
distinguished very eaaentiaily from Darwin's by the entire absence of 
the principle of useful variations and theii natural selection ; and mf 
fundamental conception is this, that a great plan of development li«a 
at the foundation of the origin of the whole organic world, impelling 
the simpler forma to more and more complex developments, HoW 
tliia law operates, what influences determine the development of tha 
eggs and germs, and impel them to assume constantly new forms, I 
naturally cannot pretend to say ; but I can at least adduce the grtafc 
analogy of the alternation of generations. If a Bipinnaria, a Brad»- 
alaria, a Pluteiu, ia competent to produce the Echinoderm, which 
BO widely different &om it ; if a hydroid polype can produce the highs 
Medusa ; if the vermiform Trematode ' nurse ' can ilevelop witlus 
itself the very unlike C'ercaria, it will not appear impossible that t^ 

ejy;, or ciliated embryo, of a sponge, for once, under special conditions, 
miglit become a Iiydroid polype, or the embryo of s Medusa, an 

It is obvious, from these extracts, that Professor Kol- 
liker's hypothesis is baaed upon the supposed existence 
of a close analogy between the phEenomena of Agamo- 
genesis and the production of new species from pre- 
existing ones. But is the analogy a real one ? We 
think that it is not, and, by the hypothesis, cannot be. 

For what are the phaenomena of Agamogenesis, statec^ 
generally ] An impregnated egg develops into an 
asexual form, A ; this gives rise, ascsually, to a second 
form or forms, B, more or less different from A. B may 
multiply aaexually again ; in the simpler cases, however, 
it does not, but, acquiring sexual characters, produces 
impregnated eggs from whence A once more arises. 

No case of Agamogenesis is known in which, when A 
differs widely from, B, it is itself capable of sexual 
propagation. No case whatever is known in which the 
progeny of B, by sexual generation, is other than a 
reproduction of A. 

But if this be a true statement of the nature of the 
process of Agamogenesis, how can it enable us to com- 
prehend the production of new species from already 
existing ones 1 Let us suppose Hytenas to have pre- 
ceded Dogs, and to have produced the latter in this 
way. Then the Hytena will represent A, and the Dog, 
B. The first difficulty that presents itself is that the 
Hyrena must be asexual, or the process will be wholly 
without analogy in the world of Agamogenesis. But 
passing over this difficulty, and supposing a male and 
female Dog to be produced at the same time from the 


Or again, considering that if there is any one quality 
of Mr. Darwin's work to which friends and foes have 
alike borne witness, it is his candour and fairness in 
admitting and discussing objections, what is to be 
thought of M. Flourens' assertion, that 

'^ M. Danvlii ne cite que lea auteuis qui partagent ses opinions." 
(P. 40.) 

Once more (p. 65) : 

'' Enfin rouvrage de M. Darwin a paru. On ne pent qu'^tre frappi 
du talent de Tauteur. Mais que d*id6es obscures, que d'id^ fausaes ! 
Quel jargon m^taphysique jet6 mal k propos dans I'histoire naturelle, 
qui tombe dans le galimatias d^ qu'elle sort des id^es claires, des 
id^es justes ! Quel langage pr^tentieux et vide ! Quelles personi- 
fications pu^riles et surann^es ! lucidity ! solidity de Tespiit 
Fran^ais, que devenez-vous ? " 

" Obscure ideas," " metaphysical jargon,** " pretentious 
and empty language," " puerile and superannuated per- 
sonifications." Mr. Darwin has many and hot opponents 
on this side of the Channel and in Germany, but we do 
not recollect to have found precisely these sins in the 
long catalogue of those hitherto laid to his charge. It is 
worth while, therefore, to examine into these discoveries 
eflfected solely by the aid of the " lucidity and solidity " 
of the mind of M. Flourens. 

According to M. Flourens, Mr. Darwin's great error is 
that he has personified Nature (p. 10), and further that 
he has 

"imagined a natural selection: he imagines afterwards ihat this 
power of selecting (pouvoir d^elire) which he gives to Nature is similar 
to the power of man. These two suppositions admitted, nothing 
stops him : he plays with Nature as he likes, and makes har do all 
he pleases." (P. 6.) 


And this is the way M. Flourens extinguishes natural 
selection : 

" YoyoDH done encore una fois, ce qu'il peut y avoir de toadi dans 
ca qu'on nomme election iiaturelle. 

" L'electioii natuielU n'est boub un autre nom qne la nature. Pour 
un etre orgaais6, la nature n'est que I'orgamaation, ni plus ni moina. 

"II faudra done aussi persoonifier Vorganisation, et dire que 
t organisation choisit Porganiiotion. L'eUctimi vatnrelle est cette 
forme mibtlantidU dont on jouait autrefois aveo taut de facilit(5. 
Aristote disait que 'Si I'art de bAtic £tait dans le bois, <:et art agirait 
comme la nature.' A la place de Pari rfe batir M. I)arwin met 
I'elixlunt natureUe, et c'est tout un : I'un n'est paa plus chimiiriquo 
que I'outre." (P. 31.) 

And this is really all that M. Floureus can make of 
Natural Selection, We have given the original, in fear 
lest a translation should be regarded as a travesty ; but 
with the original before the reader, we may try to 
analyse the passage. " For an organized being, Nature 
is only organization, neither more nor less." 

Organized beings then have absolutely no relation to 
inorganic nature : a plant does not depend on soil or 
sunshine, climate, depth in the ocean, height above it ; 
the quantity of saline matters in water have no influence 
upon animal life ; the substitution of carbonic acid for 
o.xygen in our atmosphere would hurt nobody 1 That 
these are absurdities no one should know better than 
M. Flourens ; but they are logical deductions from the 
assertion just quoted, and from the further statement 

I that natural selection means only that "organization 
oliooses and selects organization." 
, For if it be once admitted (what no sajie man denies) 
^lat the chances cff life of any given organism are 
Increased by certain conditions (A) and diminished by 


their opposites (B), then it is mathematically certain that 
any change of conditions in the direction of (A) will 
exercise a selective influence in favour of that organism, 
tending to its increase and multiplication, while any 
change in the direction of (B) will exercise a selective 
influence against that organism, tending to its decrease 
and extinction. 

Or, on the other hand, conditions remaining the same, 
let a given organism vary (and no one doubts that they 
do vary) in two directions : into one form (a) better fitted 
to cope with these conditions than the original stock, 
and a second (6) less well adapted to them. Then it is 
no less certain that the conditions in question must 
exercise a selective influence in favour of (a) and against 
(6), so that (a) will tend to predominance, and (b) to 

That M. Flourens should be unable to perceive the 
logical necessity of these simple arguments, which lie at 
the foundation of all Mr. Darwin's reasoning; that he 
should confound an irrefragable deduction from the 
observed relations of organisms to the conditions which 
lie around them, with a metaphysical ** forme substan- 
tielle," or a chimerical personification of the powers 
of Nature, would be incredible, were it not that other 
passages of his work leave no room for doubt upon 
the subject. 

^* On imagino une Slection natureUe que, pour plus de managements 
on me dit ^tre inconscvenU^ sans s^apercevoir que le contre-sens littoral 
est pr^cis^ment Ik: Election inconsciente" (P. 52.) 

''J*ai d^ja dit ce qu'il faut penser de rSUction naturdU. On 
niection naturdle n'est rien, ou c'est la nature : mais la nature dou^ 
(T^ectum, mais la nature pereonnifi^: derni^re erreur du dernier 
u^le : Le xix* ne fait plus de personnifications." (P. 53.) 

^■jj^V .CJtmcibMS o.v ■' TJ/i; orkhn of species:' 3i7.' 

M. Flourens cannot imagine au unconscious selection 
— it is for hira a contradiction in terms. Did M. 
Flourena ever visit one of the prettiest watering-places 
"f " la belle France," the Baie d'Areaehon % If sn, he 
will probably have passed through the district of the 
Landes, and will have had an opportunity of observing 
the formation of " dunes" on a grand scale. What are 
these " dunes ?" The winds and waves of the Riy of 
Biscay have nut much consciousness, and yet they have 
with great care "selected," from among an infinity of 
masses of silex of all shapes and sizes, which have been 
submitted to their action, all the grains of sand below a 
certain size, and have heaped them by themselves over 
a great area. This sand has been " unconsciously 
selected-" fi-om amidst the gravel in which it first lay 
with as much precision as if man had " (■onsciously 
selected " it by the aid of a sieve. Physical Geology is 
full of such selections — of the picking out of the soft 
from the hard, of the soluble from the iosoluble, of the 
fusible from the infusible, by natural agencies to which 
we are certainly not in the habit of ascribing con- 
. £ciousness. 

But that which -wmA and sea are to a sandy beach, 
1 sum of influences, which we term the " conditions 
existence," is to living organisms. The we-ak are 
bed out from the strong. A finsty night " selects " 
J hardy planta in a plantation from among the tender 
(Des as effectually as if it were the wind, and they, the 
ad and pebbles, of our illustration ; or, on the other 
ad, as if the intelligem-e of a gardener had been 
■ative in cutting the weaker organisms down. The 
lustlp, whirh has spread over the Pampas, to the 


destruction of native plants, has been more effectually 
** selected" by the unconscious operation of natural con- , 
ditions than if a thousand agriculturists had spent their 
time in sowing it. 

It is one of Mr. Darwin's many great services to 
Biological science that he has demonstrated the sig- 
nificance of these facts. He has shown that — ^given 
variation and given change of conditions — ^the inevitable 
result is the exercise of such an influence upon organisms 
that one is helped and another is impeded ; one tends 
to predominate, another to disappear ; and thus the 
living world bears within itself, and is surrounded by, 
impulses towards incessant change. 

But the truths just stated are as certain as any other 
physical laws, quite independently of the truth, or false- 
hood, of the hypothesis which Mr. Darwin has based 
upon them ; and that M. flourens, missing the substance 
and grasping at a shadow, should be blind to the admi- 
rable exposition of them, which Mr. Darwin has given, 
and see nothing there but a " demifere erreur du dernier 
sifecle " — a personification of Nature — leads us indeed 
to cry with him : "0 lucidity ! solidity de Tesprit 
Fran9ais, que devenez-vous ?" 

M. Flourens has, in fact, utterly failed to comprehend 
the first principles of the doctrine which he assails so 
rudely. His objections to details are of the old sort, so 
battered and hackneyed on this side of the Channel, that 
not even a Quarterly Reviewer could be induced to 
pick them up for the purpose of pelting Mr. Darwin 
over again. We have Cuvier and the mummies; M. 
Boulin and the domesticated animals of America ; the 
difficulties presented by hybridism and by Pa]^^ontology ; 


Darwinism a rifacciamento of De MaUlet and Lamarck ; 

Darwiuism a system without a eommeucenoeut, and its 

author bound to believe in M. Pouchet, &c. &c. How 

one knows it all by heart, and with what relief one reads 

at p. 65— 

" Je laiasQ M, Durwiu 1 " 

But WO cannot leave M. Flourens without calling our 
readers' attention to his wonderful tenth chapter, " De 
la Pr^existence des Germes et de rEpigdnfese," which 
opens thus : — 

" SpontaneouB generation is only a obiiaiETa. This point esta-' 
bliahed, two hypotheses remain : that of pre-anitmee and that of 
fpigenuU. The one of these hypotheses has as little foundation aa 
the other." (P. 163.) 

" The doctrine of epigenuU is derived from Harvey : following by 
ocular inspection tho development of the new being in the "Windsor 
does, he saw each part appeal successively, and taking the moment 
of appearance for the moment of formation he imagined epigenaii." 
(P. 165.) 

On the contrarj'', says M. Flourens (p. 167), 

"The new being is formed at a stroke (louC (Tun coup), as a whole, 
instantaneously ; it is not formed part by part, and at different times. 
It is formed at once ; it is formed at the single individaal moment 
at which the conjunction of the male and female elements takes 


It will be observed that M. Flourens uses language 
which rannot be mistaken. For him, the labours of Von 
Baer, of Rathke, of Coste, and their contemporaries and 
successors iu Germany, France, and England, are non- 
existent ; and, as Darwin "imagina" natural selection, so 
Harvey "imagina" that doctrine which gives him an even 
greater claim to the veneration of posterity than his 
better known discovery of the circulation of the blood. 


It seems to me that the thinker who, more than any 
other, stands in the relation of such a stem towards the 
philosophy and the science of the modem world is Ren^ 
Descartes. I mean, that if you lay hold of any charac- 
teristic product of modem ways of thinking, either in 
the region of philosophy, or in that of science, you find 
the spirit of that thought, if not its form, to have been 
present in the mind of the great Frenchman. 

There are some men who are counted great because 
they represent the actuality of their own age, and mirror 
it as it is. Such an one was Voltaire, of whom it was 
epigrammaticallysaid,"he expressed everybody's thoughts 
better than anybody." ^ But there are other men who 
attain greatness because they embody the potentiality of 
their own day, and magically reflect the future. They 
express the thoughts which will be everybody's two 
or three centuries after them. Such an one waa 

Born, in 1596, nearly three hundred years ago, of a 
noble family in Touraine, Ren^ Descartes grew up into a 
sickly and diminutive child, whose keen wit soon gained 
him that title of "the Philosopher," which, in the mouths 
of his noble kinsmen, was more than half a reproach. 
The best schoolmasters of the day, the Jesuits, educated 
him as well as a French boy of the seventeenth century 
could be educated. And they must have done their 
work honestly and well, for, before his schoolboy days 
were over, he had discovered that the most of what he 
had learned, except in mathematics, was devoid of solid 
and real value. 

^ I forget who it was said of him : '' D a plus que persoime Tespiit que tout 
le monde a." 

" Therefore," saya he, in that " Discourse "' which I hiiTe taken fur 
my lext, " as soon as I was old enough to be set free from the guvern- 
rnent of ray teachers, I entirely forsook the stuiiy of letters ;. and 
dctercnining to s«ek no other knowledge than that which I conld 
discover within myself, or in the great hook of the world, 1 spent the 
remainder of my youth in travelling ; in seeing courts and armies ; in 
the society of people of different humours nud conditions; ingathering 
varied experience ; in testing myself by the chances of fortune ; and 
iu always trying to profit hy my reflections on what happened. . . , 
And I always liad an intense di<Etre to Icam how to distinguish truth 
from falsehood, in order to be clear about my actions, and to walk 
BUrefootedly in this life." 

But "iL-arn what is true, m order to do what ia right," 
18 the summing up of the whole duty of man, for all 
who are unable to satisfy their mental hunger with the 
east wind of authority; and to those of ua modems who 
are in this position, it is one of Descartes' great claims to 
our reverence as a s])iritual ancestor, that, at three-and- 
twent}^ he saw clearly that this was his duty, and acted 
up to his conviction. At two-and-thirty, in fact, finding 
all other occupations hicorapatible with the search after 
the knowledge which leads to action, and being possessed 
of a modest competence, he withdrew into Holland ; 
where he spent nine years in learning and thinking, in 
such retirement that only one or two trusted friends 
knew of his whereabouts. 

In 1637 the firstfruits of these long meditations were 
given to the world in the famous " Discourse touching 
the Method of using "Reason rightly and of seeking 
scientific Truth," which, at once an autobiography and a 
philosophy, clothes the deepest thought in language of 
exquisite harraouy, simplicity, and clearness. 

Discauis de la M^tbode pour bien conduire sa Raison et chsrchec la 
Hi dsju lea Sciences." 



The central propositions of the whole " Discourse ' are 
these. There is a path that leads to truth so surely, that 
any one who will follow it must needs reach the goal, 
wh'fther his capacity be great or small And there is one 
gui'ling rule by which a man may always find this path, 
and keep himself from straj-ing when he has found it 
This golden rule is — give unqualified assent to no pro- 
positions but those the truth of which is so clear and 
distinct that they cannot be doubted. 

The enunciation of this great first commandment of 
scii.'ncc consecrated Doubt It remQved Doubt from the 
seat of penance among the grievous sins to which it had 
long been condemned, and enthroned it in that high place 
among the primary duties, which is assigned to it by the 
scientific conscience of these latter days. Descartes was 
the first among the moderns to obey this commandment 
deliberately ; and, as a matter of religious duty, to strip 
oflF all his beliefs and reduce himself to a state of intel- 
lectual nakedness, until such time as he could satisfy 
himself which were fit to be worn. He thought a bare 
skin healthier than the most respectable and well-cut 
clothirig of what might, possibly, be mere shoddy. 

When I say that Descartes consecrated doubt, you must 
remember that it was that sort of doubt which Goethe 
has called **the active scepticism, whose whole aim is to 
conquer itself;"^ and not that other sort which is bom 
of flippancy and ignorance, and whose aim is only to 
perpetuate itself, as an excuse for idleness and indiffer- 
ence. But it is impossible to define what is meant by 

^ ^' Sine thatige Skepsis ist die, welcbe unablassig bemiiht ist sich selbst 
su iibcrwinden, und durch geregelte Erfahiung za einer Arfc Ton bedingter 
Zuverluseigkeit zu gelaogen." — Maaxinun und B^JUsowms^^ 7 Abtheilung. 


scientific doubt better than in Descartes' own words. 
After describing the gradual progress of his negative 
criticism, ht^ tella us : — 

" For all that, I did not imitate the Hceptics, who doubt only for 
douliting's sake, and pretend to be always uudeuided; on the contrary, 
my whole intention waa to arrive at certainty, and to dig away the 
drift and the Band until I reached the rock or the clay beneath." 

And further, since no man of common sense, when 
he pulls down his house for the purpose of rebuilding it, 
fails to provide himself with some .'shelter while the work 
is in progress ; so, before demolishing the spacious, if uot 
commodious, mansion of his old beliefs, Descartes thought 
it wise to equip himself with what he culls " une morale 
par provision," by which he resolved to govern his 
practical life until such time as he should be better 
instructed. The laws of thia " provisional self-govern- 
ment" are embodied in four maxims, of which one binds 
our philosopher to submit himself to the laws and rehgion 
in which he was brought up ; another, to act, on all those 
occasions which call for action, promptly and according 
to the best of his judgment, and to abide, without 
repining, by the result: a third rule is to seek happiness 
in limiting his desires, rather than in attempting to satisfy 
them ; while the last is to make the search after truth 
the business of his life. 

Thus prepared to go on living while he doubted, 
Descartes proceeded to face his doubts like a man. One 
thing was clear to him, he would not lie to himself — 
would, under no penalties, say, " I am sure" of that of 
which he was not sure ; but would go on digging and 
delving until he came to the solid adamant ; or, at worst, 

4e sure there was no adamant. As the record of hia 

A A 2 


progress tells us, he was obliged to confess that life is fUl 
of delusions ; that authority may err ; that testimony 
may be false or mistaken ; that reason lands us in end- 
less fallacies ; that memory is often as little trustworthy 
as hope ; that the evidence of the very senses may be 
misunderstood ; that dreams are real as long as they last, 
and that what we call reality may be a long and restless 
dream. Nay, it is conceivable that some powerful and 
malicious being may find his pleasure in deluding us, and 
in making us believe the thing which is not, every moment 
of our lives. What, then, is certain ? What even, if 
such a being exists, is beyond the reach of his powers of 
delusion ? Why, the fact that the thought, the present 
consciousness, exists. Our thoughts may be delusive, 
but they cannot be fictitious. As thoughts, they are 
real and existent, and the cleverest deceiver cannot 
make them otherwise. 

Thus, thought is existence. More than that, so far as 
we are concerned, existence is thought, all our concep- 
tions of existence being some kind or other of thought 
Do not for a moment suppose that these are mere 
paradoxes or subtleties. A little reflection upon the 
commonest facts proves them to be irrefragable truths. 
For example, I take up a marble, and I find it to be 
a red, round, hard, single body. We call the redness, 
the roundness, the hardhess, and the singleness, "quali- 
ties " of the marble ; and it sounds, at first, the height of 
absurdity to say that all these qualities are modes of our 
own consciousness, which cannot even be conceived to 
exist in the marble. But consider the redness, to begin 
with. How does the sensation of redness arise ? The 
waves of a certain very attenuated matter, the particles 


ON DEscJSTss' " discoubue:' 


which are %'ibrating with vast rapidity, but with very 

fferent velocities, strike upon the marble, and those 

1 vibrate with one particular velocity are thrown off 

jom its surfai-e in all directions. The optical appai-atus 

f the eye gathers some of these together, and gives them 

I a course that they impinge upon the surface of the 

la, which is a singularly delicate apparatus, connected 

pith the termination of the fibres of the optic nerve. 

! impulses of the attenuated matter, or ether, affect 

1 apparatus and the fibres of the optic nerve in a 

certain way ; and the change in the fibres of the optic 

nerve produces yet other changes in the brain ; and 

n some fashion unknown to us, give rise to the 

icling, or consciousness, of redness. If the marble 

«Id remain unchanged, and either the rate of vibration 

r the ether, or the nature of the retina, could be altered, 

i marble would seem not red, Imt some other colour. 

tere are many people who are what are called colour- 

ind, being unable to distinguish one colour from 

nother. Such an one might declare our marble to be 

; and he would be quite as right in saying that it 

S green, as we are in declaring it to be red. But then, 

I the marble cannot, in itself, bo both green and red, at 

Jie same time, this shows that the quality " redness " 

must be in our consciousness and not in the marble. 

In like manner, it is easy to see that the roundness and 

•the hardness are forms of our consciousness, belonging 

the groups which we call sensations of sight and 

»uch. If the surface of the cornea were cylindrical, we 

should have it very different notion of a round body 

from that which we possess now ; and if the strength of 

the fabric, and the force of the muscles, of the body were 




increased a hundredfold, our marble would seem to be as 
Boft aa a pellet of bread crumbs. 

Not only 13 it obvious that all these qualities are in us, i 
but, if you will make the attempt, you will find it quite 
impossible to conceive of " blueness," " roundness," aji( 
"hardness" as existing without reference to some suel 
consciousness as our own. It may seem strange to saj 
that even the " singleness " of the marble is relative to U8 
but extremely simple experiments will show that such i 
veritaljly the case, and that our two moat truatwort!^ 
senses may be made to contradict one another on thi 
very point. Hold the marble between the finger am 
thumb, and look at it in the ordinary way. Sight am 
touch agree that it is single. Now squint, and sigh 
tells you that there are two mai'bles, while touch assert 
that there is only one. Next, return the eyes to tha 
natural position, and, having crossed the forefinger an 
the middle finger, put the marble between their tipi 
Then touch wiU declare that there are two marbles, whil 
sight says that there is only one ; and touch claims oo 
belief, when we attend to it. just as imperatively \ 
sight does. 

But it may be said, the marble takes up a certai 
space which could not be occupied, at the same time, 1 
anything else. In other words, the marble haa t 
primary quality of matter, extension. Surely this qualit 
must be in the thing, and not in our minds i But tl 
reply must still be ; whatever may, or may not, exist in tJ 
thing, all that we can know of these qualities is a state i 
consciousness. What we tall extension is a consciousnei 
of a relation between two, or more, affections of 
sense of sight, or of touch. And it is wlioUy inct 


ceivable that what we call extensiou should exist iude- 
pendeiitly of such consciousness as oiu- own. "Whether, 
notwithstanding this inconceivability, it does so exist, or 
not, ia a point on which I offer no opinion. 

Thus, whatever our marble may be in itself, all that 
we can know of it is under the shape of a bundle of our 
own consciousnesses. 

Nor is our knowledge of anything we know or feel 
more, or less, than a knowledge of states of consciousness. 
And our whole life is made up of such states. Some of 
these states we refer to a cause we call " self ; " others to 
a cause or causes which may be compi-ehended under 
the title of "not^self." But neither of the existence of 
"self," nor of that of "not-self," have we, or can wc by 
any possibility have, any such unquestionable and im- 
mediate certainty as we have of the states of conscious- 
ness which we consider to be their effects. They are not 
immediately observed facts, but results of the application 
of the law of causation to those facts. Strictly s^peuking, 
the existence of a " self" and of a " not-self" are hypo- 
tlieses by which we account for the facts of consciousness. 
They stand upon the same footing as the belief in the 
general trustworthiness of memory, and in the general 
constancy of the order of nature — as hypothetical 
assumptions which cannot be proved, or known with 
that highest degree of certainty which is given by im- 
niediiite consciousness ; but which, neverlheiess, are of 
the highest practical value, inasmuch as the conclu- 
eiona logically drawn from them are always verified 
by expenence. 

This, in my judgment, ia the ultimate issue of Descartes' 
argument ; but it is proper for me to point out that wc 



have left Descartes himself some way l»ehind us. He 
stopped at the famous formula, '* I think, therefore I am.' 
But a little consideration will show this formula to bei 
full of snares and verbal entanglements. In the 6r8t 
place, the "therefore" has no business there. The ' 
am" is assumed in the " I think," which is simply anothei 
way of saying "I am thinking." And, in the second 
place, " I think " is not one simple jtroposition, but three 
distinct assertions rolled into one. The first of these i 
"aotnething called I exists ;" the second is, " sometbiD| 
called thought exists;" and the third is, " the thought ii 
the result of the action of the 1." 

Now, it will be obvious to you, that the only one a 
these three propositions which can stand the Cartesia 
test of certainty is the second. It cannot l>e doubtect 
for the very doubt is an existent thought. But the first 
and third, whether true or not, may be doubted, and 
have been doubted. For the assertor may be asked. 
How do you know that thought is not 8elf-exist«nt ; 
that a given thought is not the effect of its antecedent 
thought, or of some external power ? And a diversity c 
other questions, nruch more easily put than answered^ 
Descartes, determined as he was to strip off all the j 
ments which the intellect weaves for itself, forgot thi 
gossamer shii-t of the "self;" to the great detriraentj 
and indeed ruin, of his toilet when he began to clothe 
himself again. 

But it is beside my purpose to dwell upon the minoi 
peculiarities of the Cartesian philosophy. All I wish t 
put clearly before your minds thus far, is that Descartee 
having commenced by declaring doubt to be a duty; 
found certainty in consciousness alone ; and that tli 

neceriaary outcome of his views is what may properly be 
termed Idealism ; namely, the doctrine that, whatever 
the universe may be, all we can know of it ia the picture 
presented to us by consciousness. This picture may be 
a true likeness — though how this can be is inconceiv- 
able ; or it may have no more resemblance to its cause 
than one of Bach's fugues has to the person who is 
playing it ; or than a piece of poetry has to tlie mouth 
and lips of a reciter. It is enough for all the practical 
purposes of human existence if we find that our trust in 
the representations of consciousness ia verified by results ; 
and that, by their help, we are enabled "to walk sure- 
footedly in this life," 
Thus the method, or path which leads to truth, indi- 
ited by Descartes, takes xia straight to the Critical 
[ealism of his great successor Kant. It is that Idealism 
.ch declares the ultimate fact of all knowledge to be a 
insciousness, or, in other words, a mental phfenomenon ; 
and therefore affirms the highest of all certainties, and 
indeed the only absolute certainty, to be the existence of 
id. But it is also that Idealism which refuses tn 
.ke any assertions, either positive or negative, as to 
wLat lies beyond consciousness. It accuses the subtle 
Berkeley of stepping beyond the limits of knowledge 
,when he declared that a substance of matter does not 
it ; and of illogicality, for not seeing that the ar- 
lents which he supposed demolished the existence 
matter were equally destructive to the existence 
soul. And it refuses to listen to the jargon fif 
lore recent days about the " Altsolute," and all the 
;her hypostatized adjectives, the initial letters of 
le names of which are generally printed in capital 



1 ' 



letters ; just as yon give a Grenadier a bearekin capy 
to mate him look more formidable tbau he is by 

I repeat, the path iodicated and followed by Descartes 
which we have hitherto been treading, leads through 
doubt to that critical Idealism which lies at the heart 
of modern metaphysical thouglit But the " Discourse' 
shows us another, and apparently very different, path^' 
which leads, quite as definitely, to that correlation of all 
the phjenomena of the universe with matter and motion, 
which lies at the heart of modern physical thought, and 
which most people call Materialism. 

The early part of the seventeenth century, when Dea- 
cartes reached manhood, is one of the great epochs of the 
intellectual life of mankind. At that time, physical 
science suddenly strode into the ai-cna of public and 
familiar thought, and openly challenged, not only Philo- 
sophy and the Church, but that common ignorance 
which passes by the name of Common Sense. The asser- 
tion of the motion of the earth was a defiance to all 
three, and Physical Science threw down her glove by the 
hand of Galileo. 

It is not pleasant to think of the immediate result of 
the combat ; to see the champion of science, old, wots, 
and on his knees before the Cardinal Inquisitor, signing 
his name to what he knew to be a lie. And, no doubtj 
the Cardinals rubbed their bands as they thought how- 
well they had silenced and discredited theu' adversarv. 
But two hundred years have passed, and however feeble 
or faulty her soldiers, Physical Science sits crowned and 
enthroned as one of the legitimate rulers of the world 
of thought. Charity children would be ashamed not to 




■Imow that the earth moves ; -while the Schoolmen are 
forgntten ; and tlie Cardinals — well, the Cardinals are at 
the (Ecumenical Council, still at their old business of 
ying to stop the movement of the world. 
As a ship, which having lain Iwcalmed with every 
Jtitch of canvas set, bounds away before the breeze 
which springs up astern, so the mind of Descartes, poised 
in equilibrium of doubt, not only yielded to the full force 
Hbf the impulse towards physical science and physical 
^Hteys of thought, given by his great contemporaries, 
^^3aliIco and Harvey, but shot beyond them ; and antici- 
pated, by bold speculation, the conclusions, which could 
nly be placed upon a secure foundation by the labours 
t generations of workers. 

[ Descartes saw that the discoveries of Galileo meant 

lat the remotest parts of the universe were governed by 

lechanical laws ; while those of Harvey meant that the 

s presided over the operations of that portion of 

ItB world which is nearest to us, namely, onr own bodily 

temc. And crossing the interval between the centre 

Bid its vast circumference by one of the great strides of 

jpeaius, Descartes sought to resolve all the j)hEenomena of 

lie universe into matter and motion, or forces operating 

[cording to law.' This grand conception, which is 

etched in the "Discours," and more fully developed 

L the " Principes " and in the " Traite de I'llomme," he 

(Corked out with extraordinary power and knowledge ; 

and with the effect of arriving, in the last-named essay, 

> " Au niilieu de tuates sea enenrs, il ne faut pns m^onDnttre une ^nmde 

qai consiste Jt avoir t«nU pour la premiere lois de rumener tous lea 

SnominieB naturelB i, n'itte qu'im simple diTelloppenieDt dea loU <ie la 

.niqne," is the weight; judgment of Blot, cited hj Bauillier {Hisloirt de 

PhiUtophie Cortfrieniw, t. i. p. 1B6). 



at that purely mechanical view of vital phdenomena 
towards which modern physiology is striving. 

Let us try to understand how Descartes got into this 
path, and why it led him where it did. The mechanism 
of the circulation of the blood had evidently taken a 
great hold of his mind, as he describes it several times, 
at much length. After giving a full account of it in the 
** Discourse," and erroneously describing the motion of 
the blood, not to the contraction of the walls of the 
heart, but to the heat which he supposes to be generated 
there, he adds : — 

" This motion, which I have just explained, is as much the necessary 
result of the structure of the parts which one can see in the heart, and 
of the heat which one may feel there with one's fingers, and of the 
nature of the blood, which may be experimentally ascertained ; as is 
that of a clock of the force, the situation, and the figure, of its weight 
and of its wheels." 

But if this apparently vital operation were explicable 
as a simple mechanism, might not other vital operations 
be reducible to the same category ? Descartes replies 
without hesitation in the affirmative. 

"The animal spirits," says he, "resemble a very subtle fluid, or a 
very pure and viviil flame, and are continually generated in the heart, 
and ascend to the brain as to a sort of reservoir. Hence they pass 
into the nerves and are distributed to the muscles, causing contraction, 
or relaxation, according to their quantity." 

Thus, according to Descartes, the animal body is an 
automaton, which is competent to perform all the animal 
functions in exactly the same way as a clock or any other 
piece of mechanism. As he puts the case himself : — 

" In proportion as these spirits [the animal spirits] enter the cavities 
of the brain, they pass thence into the pores of its substance, and from 
these pores into the nerves ; where, according as they enter, or even 


only tend to enter, more or leaa, into one than into another, they liave 
the power of aUenrig the figm'e of the musclea into which the nervea 
(ire inserted, aiid by this nieona of causing all the limbs to move. 
Thus, as you may hnve seen in the gruttoes and the fountains in royal 
garileJis, the force with wliich the water issuea from ita reaervoir is 
sufficient to move various machines, and even to make them play 

^iflstrumenta, or pronounce words according to the diiferent disposition 

^Bjf the pipes which lead the water. 

^^B "And, in truth, the nerves of the ninchine which I am describing may 

^^^y well be compared to the pipes of llicBC waterworks ; its muselea 
and its tendons to the other various eugiues and springs which seem to 
move them ; its animal spirits to the water which impels them, of 
which tlie heart is thefouutain; while the cavities of the brain are 
the centriil ullice. ^Lnreuver, respiration and other such actions as are 
natural and usual in the body, and which depend on the course of the 
spirits, are like the movements of a clock, or of a mill, which may be 
kept up by the ordinary flow of the water. 

" The external objects which, by their mere presence, act upon the 
organs of the senEes ; and which, by this means, determine the cor- 
poral machine to move in many different ways, according as the parts 
of the brain are arranged, are like the stiangera who, entering into 
some of the grottoes of these waterworks, unconsciously cause the 
movements which take place in their presence. For they cannot enter 
without treuding upon certain planks bo arranged that, for 6xara]>le, if 
they approach a bathing Diana, they cause her to hide among the 
reeds; and if they attempt to follow her, they see approaching a 
Keptune, who threatens them with his trident ; or if they try sume 
other way, they cause some monster who vomits water into their 
faces, to dart out j or like contrivances, according to the fancy of tha 
engineers who have made them. And lastly, when the rational tout is 
lodged in this machine, it will have its principal seat in the brain, and 
will take the place of the engineer, who ought to be in that part of 
the works with which all the pipes are connected, when he wishes to 
r to slacken, or in some way to alter, their movements," ' 

And again still more strongly : — 

" All the functions which I have attributed to this machine (the 

ly), 08 the digestion of food, the pulaaLion of the heart and of 

the arteriea ; the nutrition and the growtli of ihe limbs ; respiration, 

"Traits del'Homme" (Cousin's EJitiun), p. 347, 





wakefulneffl, and aleep j tlie reception of ligbt, soimda, odours, fiavoDn, 
heat, and nuch like quatitiBs, in the oi^db of the external senses ; th« 
impression of the ideas of these in the organ of common sense and in 
the imagination ; the retention, or the iniprcEBion, of these ideas on the 
memor; ; the inlemat movements of the appetites and the passions; 
and lastly, the externiil movements of all the limbs, which follow so 
aptly, as well the action of the objects which are presented to the 
senses, as the impressions which meet in the memory, that they 
imitate as nearly as possible those of a real man :^ I desire, I say, 
that you should consider that thesa functions in the machine nnturally 
proceed from the mere arrangement of its organs, neither more nor 
less than do the moyemenls of a clock, or other automaton, from that 
of its weights and its wheels ; so that, so far as these are concerned, it 
is not necessary to conceive any other vegetative or sensitive eoul, nor 
any other principle of motion, or of life, than the blood and the spirits 
agitated by the fire which bums continually in the heart, and which 
is no wise essentially different from all the fires which exist in inani- 
mate bodiea," * 

The spirit of these passages is exactly that of the 
most advanced physiology of the present day ; all that 
is necessary to make them cointide with our present 
physiology in form, is to represent the details of the 
working of the animal machinery in modem language, 
and by the aid of modern conceptions. 

Most imdoubtedly, the digestion of food in the human 
body is a purely chemical process ; and the passflge of 
the nutritive parts of that food iu^o the blood, a physicEl 
operation. Beyond all question, the circulation of the 
blood is simply a matter of mechanism, and results from 
the structure and arrangement of the parts of the heart 
and vessels, from the contractility of those organs, and 

Deatajtes pretends Uiat he does not npply his views to the haman body, 
but only to an iiuftginnry machine which, if it could be conatrucled, would do 
all that the huinan body does ; throwing a sop to Cerberus unworthily ; aod 
uselessly, because Oerlierus was by no mcanj stopid enough to swallow it 
" " Trail* d« I'Hommo," p. 427. 



fi'om the regulation of that contractility by an automa- 
tiLally acting nei'vous apparatus. TLe progress of phy- 
siology has further shown, that the contractility of the 
muscles and the irritability of the nerves are purely the 
results of the molecular mechanism of tliose organs ; and 
that the regular movements of the mspiratory, ali- 
mentary, and other internal organs are governed and 
guided, as mechanically, by their appropriate nervous 
centres. The even rhythm of the breathing of every one 
of us depends upon the structuml integrity of a particular 
ri'gion of the medulla oblongata, as much as the ticking 
of a cloi:k depends upon the integrity of the escapement. 
You may take away the hands of a clock and break up its 
striking machinery, but it will still tick ; and a man may 
be unable to feel, speak, or move, and yet he will breathe. 

Again, in entire accordance with Descartes' affirmation, 
it is certain that the modes of motion which constitute 
the physical basis of light, sound, and heat, are trans- 
muted into aflections of nervous matter by the sensory 
organs. These aifections are, so to speak, a kind of 
physical ideas, which are retained in tlie central organs, 
constituting what might be called physical memoiy, and 
may be combined in a manner which answers to associa- 
tion and imagination, or may give rise to muscular 
^conti-actions, in those "reflex actions" which are the 

ichanical representatives of volitions. 

Consider what happens when a blow is aimed at the 

Instantly, and without our knowledge or will, and 

leven against the will, the eyelids close. What is it that 

lappens ? A picture of the rapidly advancing fist is 

Bade upon the retina at the back of the eye The retina 

> Compara "TraiU dee Pawiooa," Alt. XIII. and XVT. 


changes this picture into an affection of a number of the 
fibres of the optic nerve ; the fibres of the optic nerve 
affect certain parts of the brain ; the brain, in consequence, 
affects those particular fibres of the seventh nerve which 
go to the orbicular muscle of the eyelids ; the change in 
these nerve-fibres causes the muscular fibres to change 
their dimensions, so as to become shorter and broader ; 
and the result is the closing of the slit between the two 
lids, round which these fibres are disposed. Here is a 
pure mechanism, giving rise to a purposive action, and 
strictly comparable to that by which Descartes supposes 
his waterwork Diana to be moved. But we may go 
further, and inquire whether our volition, in what we term 
voluntary action, ever plays any other part than that of 
Descartes' engineer, sitting in his office, and turning this 
tap or the other, as he wishes to set one or another 
machine in motion, but exercising no direct influence 
upon the movements of the whole. 

Our voluntary acts consist of two parts : firstly, we 
desire to perform a certain action ; and, secondly, we some- 
how set a-going a machinery which does what we desire. 
But so little do we directly influence that machinery, 
that nine-tenths of us do not even know its existence. 

Sup'pose one wills to raise one's arm and whirl it round 
Nothing is easier. But the majority of us do not know 
that nerves and muscles are concerned in this process ; 
and the best anatomist among us would be amazingly 
perplexed, if he were called upon to direct the succession, 
and the relative strength, of the multitudinous nerve- 
changes, which are the actual causes of this very simple 

So again in speakings How many of ua know that the 


voice 18 produced in the larynx, and modified by the 
mouth ? How many among these instructed persona 
understand how the voice is produced and modified? 
And what living man, if he had unlimited control over all 
the nei-ves supplying the mouth and larynx of another 
person, could make him pronounce a sentence ? Yet, if 
one has anything to say, what ia easier than to say it ? 
We desire the utterance of certain words : we touch the 
spring of the word-machine, and they are spoken. Just 
as Descartes' engineer, when he wanted a particular hy- 
draulic machine to play, had only to turn a tap, and what 
he wished was done. It is because the body is a ma- 
chine that education is possible. Education is the forma- 
tion of habits, a superinducing of an artificial organization 
upon the natural organization of the body ; so that acts, 
which at first required a conscious effort, eventually 
became unconscious and mechanical. If the act which 
primarily requires a distinct consciousness and volition 
of its details, always needed the same effort, education 

(ould be an impossibibty. 
tiAccording to Descartes, then, all the functions which 
Si common to man and animals are performed by the 
body as a mere mechaniam, and be looks upon conscious- 
ness as the peculiar distinction of the " chose pensante," 
of the " rational soul," which in man (and in man 
only, in Deacartea' opinion) is superadded to the body. 
This rational soul he conceived to be lodged in the 
pineal gland, as in a sort of central office ; and, here, by 
the intermediation of the animal spirits, it became aware 
of what was going on in the body, or influenced the 
operations of the body. Modem physiologists do not 



ascribe so exalted a function to the little pineal gland, \)u% 
in a vague sort of way, they adopt Descartes' principle, 
and suppose that the soul is lodged in the cortical part 
of the brain — at least this is commonly regarded as the 
seat and instrument of consciousness. 

Dcseai'tes haa clearly stated what he conceived to b* 
the difference between spirit and matter. Matter is snb* 
stance which has extension, but docs not think ; spirit b 
substance which thinks, but haa no extension. It is vei] 
hard to form a definite notion of what this phraseology 
means, when it is taken in connexion with the location 
of the soul in the pineal gland ; and I can only represent 
it to myself as signifying that tlie soul is a mathematical! 
point, having place but not extension, within the limits 
of the pineal gland. Not only has it place, but it mui 
exert force ; for, according to the hypothesis, it is com 
petcnt, when it ^ills, to change the course of the animd 
spirits, which consist of matter in motion. Thus th« 
aoul becomes a centre of force. But, at the same tim^ 
the distinction between spirit and matter vanishes ; itia» 
much as matter, accoi-ding to a tenable hj^jiothesia, maj 
be nothing but a multitude of centres of force. ■ 
case is woiae if we adopt the modern vague notion tlu 
conseiousneas is seated in the grey matter of the ceM 
brum, generally ; for, as the grey matter has extenaioo 
that which is lodged in it must also have eitenaio) 
And thus we are led, in another way, to lose spir 
in matter. 

In truth, Descartes' physiology, like the modem phyi 
ology of which it anticipates the spirit, leads straight t 
Materialism, so far as that title is rightly applicable to t 

o-v sEscjjtTES' "discourse:' 371 

itrine that we have no know]edp;e of any tbiukiugaub- 
ice, apart from extended substance ; and that thought 
aa much a function of matter ag motion is. Thus we 
ive at the singular result that, of the two paths opeucd 
ip to us in the " Discourse upon Method," tlie one 
by waj' of Berkeley and Hume, to Kant and 
ialism ; while the other leads, by way of De La 
[ettrie and Priestley, to modem physiology and Mate- 
ism.* Our stem divides into two main branches, 
'hich grow in opposite ways, and bear flowers which 
look as difl'eront as they can well be. But each branch 
is sound and healthy, and has as much life and vigour 
the other. 

If a botanist found this state of things in a now plant, 
imagine that he might be inclined to think that his tree 
moncecious— that the flowers were of different sexes, 
that, so for from setting up a bairier between the 
■0 branches of the tree, the only hope of fertility lay in 
bringing them together. 1 may be taking too much of a 
naturalist's ^new of the case, but I must confess that this 
exactly my notion of what is to be done with raeta- 
lysica and physics. Their differences are comple- 
mentary, not antagonistic ; and thought will never be 
completely fruitful until tlie one unites with the other, 
.t me try to explain what I mean. I hold, with the 
itcrialist, that the human body, like all living bodies, 


1 Boiiillier, into whoso excellent " History of the Ciirt^siBti Philosophy " 
I hadiiotlookedwhen this paasagewns written, «if 8,7617 justly, thfttDcscorUB 
'■ a merit* le titro de pJro de !a physique, aussi hien que ceini de jn^re do k 
mitnphysique moileme " (t. i. p. 107), See also Kuno Fischer'a " Oeachichtu 

iW neuen PhiloBophie," Bd. i. ; and the very remarkable work of Lunge, 
Oesohicble des Mnlpri/itismiis." — A ff\oA translution of the latter woiilil be 
jreat serrice to philoanphy in EngliDd. 


is a machine, all the operations of which will, sooner or 
later, be explained on physical principles. I believe that 
we shall, sooner or later, arrive at a mechanical equivalent 
of consciousness, just as we have arrived at a mechanical 
equivalent of heat If a pound weight falling through a 
distance of a foot gives rise to a definite amount of heat, 
which may property be said to be its equivalent ; the same 
pound weight falling through a foot on a man's hand gives 
rise to a definite amount of feeling, which might with equal 
propriety be said to be its equivalent in consciousness.^ 
And as we already know that there is a certain parity 
between the intensity of a pain and the strength of one's 
desire to get rid of that pain ; and secondly, that there 
is a certain correspondence between the intensity of the 
hcat^ or mechanical violence, which gives rise to the pain, 
and the pain itself; the possibility of the establishment 
of a correlation between mechanical force and volition 
becomes apparent And the same conclusion is sug- 
gested by the fact that, within certain limits, the inten- 
sity of the mechanical force we exert is proportioned to 
tlie intensity of our desire to exert it 

Thus I am prepared to go with the Materialists wher- 
ever the true pursuit of the path of Descartes may lead 
tliem ; and I am glad, on all occasions, to declare my 
belief that their fearless development of the materialistic 
aspect of these matters has had an immense, and a most 
beneficial, influence upon physiology and psychology. 
Nay more, when they go farther than I think they are 

^ For all the qualifications which need to be made here, I refer the reader 
to the thorough discussion of the nature of the relation between nerre-action 
and cousciousness in Mr. Herbert Spencer's ''Principles of PftjchologT,'' 
p. 115 fi 9fq, 

oy uescjutes' "discoubsk" 

entitled to do — when they introduce Ctdviniem into 
science and declare that man is nothing but a machine, 
I do not see any particular harm in their doctrines, so 
long as they admit that which is a matter of experi- 
mental fact- — namely, that it is a machine capable of 
adjusting itself within certain limits. 

I protest that if some great Power would agree to 
make me always think what is true and do what is right, 
on condition of being turned into a sort of clock and 
wound up every morning before I got out of bed, I 
should instantly close with the offer. The only freedom 
I care about is the freedom to do right ; the fi'eedom to 
do wrong 1 am ready to part with on the cheapest terms 

any one who will take it of me. But when the Ma- 
ists stray beyond the borders of their path and 
begin to talk about there being nothing else in the 
universe but Matter and Force and Necessary Laws, 
and all the rest of their "grenadiers," I decline to 
follow them. I go back to the point from which we 
started, and to the other path of Descartes. I remind 
you that we have already seen clearly and distinctly, 
and in a manner which admits of no doubt, that all our 
knowledge is a knowledge of states of consciousness. 
" Matter" and " Force " are. so far as we can know, mere 
names for certain forma of consciousness. "Necessary " 
means that of which we cannot conoeive the contrary. 
" Law " means a rule which we have always found to hold 
good, and which we expect always will hold good. Thus 
it is an indisputable truth that what we call the material 
world is only known to us under the forms of the ideal 
world ; and, as Descartes tells us, our knowledge of the 


soul is more intimate and certain than our knowledge of 
the body. If I say that impenetrability is a property of 
matter, all that I can really mean is that the conscious- 
ness I call extension, and the consciousness I call resist- 
ance, constantly accompany one another. Why and 
how they are thus related is a mystery. And if I say 
that thought is a property of matter, all that I can mean 
is that, actually or possibly, the consciousness of exten- 
sion and that of resistance accompany all other sorts of 
consciousness. But, as in the former case, why they are 
thus associated is an insoluble mystery. 

From all this it follows that what I may term legiti- 
mate materialism, that is, the extension of the conceptions 
and of the methods of physical science to the highest as 
well as the lowest phenomena of vitality, is neither more 
nor less than a sort of shorthand Idealism; and Des- 
cartes' two paths meet at the summit of the mountain, 
though they set out on opposite sides of it. 

The reconciliation of physics and metaphysics lies in 
the acknowledgment of faults upon both sides ; in the 
confession by physics that all the phaenomena of nature 
are, in their ultimate analysis, known to us only as facts 
of consciousness ; in the admission by metaphysics, that 
the facts of consciousness are, practically, interpretable 
only by the methods and the formulae of physics : and, 
finally, in the observance by both metaphysical and 
physical thinkers of Descartes' maxim — ^assent to no 
proposition the matter of which is not so clear and 
distinct that it cannot be doubted. 

When you did me the honour to ask me to deliver this 


address, I confess I was perplexed what topic to select. 
For you are emphatically and distinctly a Christian 
body ; while science and philosophy, within the range 
of which lie all the topics on which I could venture 
to speak, are neither Christian, nor Unchristian, but are 
Extrachrisrian, and have a world of their own, which, to 
use language which wiU be very familiar to your ears just 
now, is not only "unsectarian," but is altogether "secular." 
The arguments which I have put before you to-night, for 
example, are not inconsistent, so far as I know, witL any 
form of theology. 

After much consideration, I thought tliat I might be 
most useful to you, if I attempted to give you some vision 
of this Extrachristian world, as it appears to a person who 
lives a good deal in it ; and if I tried to show you by 
what methods the dwellers therein tiy to distinguish 
truth from falsehood, in regard to some of the deepest 
and moat difficult problems that beset humanity, "in 
order to be clear about their actions, and to walk sure- 
footedJy in this life," as Descartes says. 

It struck me that if the execution of my project came 
anywhere near the conception of it, you would become 
aware that the philosophera and the men of science arc 
not exactly what they are sometimes represented to you 
to be ; and that their methods and paths do not lead so 
indieularly downwards as you are occasionally told 
they do. And 1 must admit, also, that a particular nud 
personal motive weighed with me, — namely, the desire to 
ahow that a certain discourse, which brought a great 

irm about my head some time ago, contained nothing 

,t the ultimate development of the views of the father 

J to be 
Fihey < 


of modem philosophy. I do not know if I have been 
quite wise in allowing this last motive to weigh with me. 
They say that the most dangerous thing one can do in a 
thunderstorm is to shelter oneself under a great tree, and 
the histor}" of Descartes' life shows how narrowly he 
escaped being riven by the lightnings, which were more 
destructive in his time than in ours. 

Descartes lived and died a good Catholic, and prided 
himself upon having demonstrated the existence of God 
and of the soul of man. As a reward for his exertions, 
his old friends the Jesuits put his works upon the 
" Index," and called him an Atheist ; while the Pro- 
testant divines of Holland declared him to be both a 
Jesuit and an Atheist His books narrowly escaped 
being burned by the hangman ; the fate of Vanini was 
dangled before his eyes ; and the misfortunes of Galileo 
so alarmed him, that he well-nigh renounced the pur- 
suits by which the world has so greatly benefited, and 
was driven into subterfuges and evasions which were not 
worthy of him. 

" Very cowardly," you may say ; and so it was. 
But you must make allowance for the fact that, in the 
seventeenth century, not only did heresy mean possible 
burning, or imprisonment, but the very suspicion of it 
destroyed a man's peace, and rendered the calm pursuit 
of truth difl&cult or impossible. I fancy that Descartes 
was a man to care more about being worried and dis- 
turbed, than about being burned outright ; and, like 
many other men, sacrificed for the sake of peace and 
quietness, what he would have stubbornly maintained 
against downright violence. 

However tfak BBf hcv kt tknae vte ve iHC tfaej- Toiiid 
have doat better tlnrr wttmm at Mm. I bave do feefin^ 
but those ot gim i itmtr aad i rw a g Mu e fiy tbe— n wfaodid 
what he did, when lie did ; and a aart of dtuae that any 
one ^Kmld repine agunst telcs^ a bar diare of soeh 
treatment as the vorid tliaii^t good cimn^ fw him. 

Finally, it oceura to me that, sodi being my feeling 
about the matter, it may be naefdl to all of os if I 
ask yon, " \Vhat is yoms ? Do you think that the 
Christianity of the seventeenth centnry looks nobler and 
more attractive for sach treatment of snch a man l" Yon 
Till hardly reply that it does. Bnt if it does not, may it 
not be well if all of you do what ties within yoor power 
to prevent the Christianity of the nineteenth centuiy 
from repeating the scandal T 

There are one or two living men, who, a couple of 
centuries hence, will be remembered as Descartes is now, 
because they have produced great thoughts which will 
live and grow as long aa mankind lasts. 

If the twenty-first century studies their history, it will 
find that the Christianity of the middle of the nineteenth 
century recognised them only aa objects of vilification. 
Jt is for you and sucli as you, Christian young men. to 
By whether this shall be as true of the ClirtatJanity of 
ihe future as it is of that of the present I appeal to you 

> say " No," in your own interest, and in that of tlu! 
hristianity you profess. 

In the interest of Science, no appeal is needful ; a« 
Dante sings of Fortune — 

" Qnest' 6 colei, cli'i'' tanto posta in ororo 
Pnr dn color, clie le dovrian clar Inilo 


Dandole biasmo a torto e mala voce. 

Ma ella s' h beata, e ci6 non ode : 
Con r altre prime creature lieta 

Volve sua spera, e beata si gode : "^ 

SO, whatever evil voices may rage, Science, secure among 
the powers that are eternal, will do her work and be 

^ '* And this is she who's put on cross so much, 
Even by them who ought to give her praise, 
Giving her wrongly ill repute and blame. 
But she is blessed, and she hears not this : 
She, with the other primal creatures, glad 
Revolves her sphere, and blessed joys herselfl'' 

Inferno, viL 90—95 (W. M. Rossetti's Translation). 




Thirteenth TbouHanii, ISmo. price is. 6il. 


PHYSIOLOGY. With uumEroiia lUostrfttious. 

THE BEaiNNINGS OF LIFE : Including an Account of the 
Present State of the '" SimuLani-uua Oeiwrtttioa " Controversy. By H. C. 
BASTIAJt. M.D,, F.E.3., Pcofessor of Pathologiuil Anatomy 'in UnivcHity 
College, LoqJod. [In the prcs3. 

PrepariiiK for Iinmediata Publioation. 

HAUUALIA. Baling the ailb^taiics of the Coiii'se of Lectures rlelirereil at 
the Royal College uf SilrKeoiis of Englnnd [a 1870. By WILLIAM HENRY 
FLOWER, F.H.S., F.R.C.S., Huntorian ProfessororCaaipariitive Auutoiny 
ftnJ Pliysiology, With uumoroua muatratioos. 

THE DEPTHS OF THE SEA An Account of Inveati^^ationa 
voiiilucted ou board H.M. Ships " Lightiiing " sucl "Porcupine," iti the 

Sara 1868-9. Under tha scientific direction of W. B. CARPENTER. 
SON, LL.D., F.R.S. Editedby WYVILLE THOMSON. [PrcpaH'y. 

Author of "The Malay Arohipelsgo," *e. Crown Svo, pp. 384, S». flrf. 

Contenta.— 1. On the Law which has regulated the introduction of Now 
Species. — 2. On the tandonoy of Variaties to depart indefinitely from Uie 
Original Type.— 3. Mimicry, and otlier Protective Raaemblanfies among 
ADiinals. — 4. The Malayan Papilionidie, or Swallow-taUed Battertlics, as 
atiTO of the Thejjry of Nature Selection. — 5. On Instinct in Man and 

Animals.— 6. The Phil(»oph_y of Binla' Neats. — 7. ATheoryof Birds" Nests : 
shnwini; the Relationof Cjrtam DlfTcreuces of Colour in Female Birds to their 

Mode of NidiHcation. — 8. Creation by Law. — 9. The Development of Human 
Koces onder tbe Law of Natural Selection. — 10. Ths Limits of Natural 
SolectioQ as applied to Man. 


of the Orang-Utuu and tbe Bird of Paradise. A Narrative of Travel, witli 
Studies of Man and Nature. Two Vols, Crown 8vo. With Nino Maps and 
more than GO lUustmtiguB, 24«. Second Edition. 


OF ABYSSINIA. Mwio durinft tho progreaa of tha British Expedition to 
that Country in !8fi7-fl9. By T. W. BLANFOItD, late Oeolojjist to tlie 
Expedition. With Coloured lUuiilrationB aud Geological Map. 8vo. 21s. 



Every Thunday, price id. ; Monthly Puts, 1>. M. and Is. S<J. 


SCIENCE. YoL. I. Itoyal 8to. clotb, prito lfl». SH. [yo 

By Dr. J. D. HLIOKEB, F.B.8., Director of tlw Boyd Gurdims, K-n. 
Globe 8vi). 104. 6d. 

The object of tbis vrark ii to BUpply StutLcnta and Fiald-Rotattitts with > 
hllur account cf the Plants of the British Islands than the Muiiials hithuto 
in uw aim at giviag. 



Tingg, Ma]^s. and Chm 


Sories of Lentiire*, with Anpeii'licea, Knirorint,.. 
Lithographs of the Spectra of the Chemical Elenients and 

The Rulk'a! Principles of Ennrgy sraphicnllr diwussod Ju thvir BeUtion tgJ 
Phyaioal and Morphological Dovalopmsnt. ' By C. F. WISSLOW, M.Ikl 

HABIT AND INTELLIGENCE, in their Connexion with the 
Law!i uf Matter ami Forre. A ^triea of ScientiSc Eisaja. Br JOSEl'U 

J. MimPHY. 2 Vola. 8vo. 16*. 


Lnvoiflier to tlia Pruseut Tima. By AD. WURTZ. TransUted bv H. 
WATTS, F.E.3. Crown 8vo. flj. 


By JOSIAE P, COOKE. Jun., Professor of Chemistry aud Hineralo^ir in 
Harvard College. Crowu 8vo. 12i. 


THE WEEK OF CREATION; or, The Cosmogonv of Genesis 

Gousidcred in its Relation to Mode ni Science. By GEORGB^ARIXOTO.V. 
Author of "The Historical Character of the PooUteneU VinditaUd, " 


i6, Bedford Stxeet, Covent Gardes, London. 
OclohtTy 1870. 

I Macmillan &~ Ca's General Catalogue 
0/ Works in the D^artmmts of History, 
Biography, Travels, Poetry, and Belles 
Lettres. With some short Account or 
Critical Notice concerning each Book. 



Baker (Sir Samuel W.).— the nile tributaries OF 

ABYSSINIA, and tlie Sword Hunters of the Hamran Arabs. 
By Sib Samuel W. Bakkr, M.A., F.R.G.S. Wiih PortraiiB, 
Maps, and Illustratioiis. Third EdilioQ, Svo. 31/. 

Str SamueJ Bilker here dtsiribes hoehie menlhs' exploration, during 
iMek he examined the riuers that are Irilmtnry ie the NiiefremAbyuinia, 
ineitiding Ihe Albara, SeOite, RnyoH, Salaam, Angrab, Rakad, Dindtr, 
amd tlu Bltu NiU. Tie iaterat aSlsched to lAeii portions ef Africa differi 
Mtirdyfrtm that af the IVAite Nile ngiens, oj the whale ef Upper Egypt 
»ml Abyjtittia ii capaiU of deveiopmenl, and it inhaiited by raeei havim 
<e degru 0/ craihsaHon; -while Central Africa is feofled by a race »J 
&«»«(£», whesefiitiire is more problematical. 

I THE ALBERT N'YANZA Grefll Basin of the NUe, and Eipio 
n of the Nile Sources. New and Cheaper Edition, witt 
Portraits, Maps, and Illustrations. Two vols, crown Svo. l&r. 

"Brace won the source of Ihe Blue Nile; Spekt and Grant vvn the 
W-ficUria source of Ihe great While Nile; and I have been pcrmillcd te 

Baker (Sir Samuel W.) (n»iA>«A/)— 

i»icad in CBiHfUfing Oit Nile SoHna by Ike diicmiery ff the grwl 
rtimvir <•/ Iki njvaiirrial vialirt, Ihi AUtrl N'yana, /rum vihiik Iki 
rh'ir iimti aj thtiatirt ifliiU Nile." — PcEFACe. 

I vol crown 8vo. Wilh Maps and Illusiiations. -js. bJ. 

Barker (Lady). — station UrE l^^ new ZEALAND. 
By Ladv Bakker. Crown 8vo. 7/. 6rf. 

•■ T^eie Iriters are t/a txiKt aenitiH of a laJy's exftruua 0/ brii;iltr 
mitd leas fnuHcal sidt ef itUnitatian. Th^ record the exfediliMU, ad- 
tm/Hni', and emrrgmciei da-ernfying l)ie daily life ej the v-i/t tf a Nh» 
Zealand theep-farner ; and, as each nm viriUen while the nm-eity and 
trtittmtHt af ihi seeiia it dettriia -iBerefrak h/vh her, they may mcmd 
III gtting here in England on adtqnale impreaitm of the deiighl and fret- 
dam at an txisimce la far removed from eur awn higltly-ivrongkt livilisa- 
HaH "— Pusl-ACR 

" tVe have tefer read ,1 more truthful ar a fleasanter little book" 


Baxter (R. Dudley, M.A.).— THE TAXATION OF THE 
UNITED KINGDOM. By R. Dudley Ba.tte», M.A. Svo. 

elotli, \s. M. 

The firit fitrl ef Ms tmri, eripnaJfy read htfort the SlaliiHial 
Society eftondOH, deals tmlh Ike AmfHMl bJ T^xaiien ; the Strand Part, 
vhick note constitules the main fcrtien of Ike mrk, u almost enlirxfy new, 
and emhraea Ike important ^nestiem of Rating, of Ike rdaOtt Taxtdifin 
of Land, Personalty, and Industry, and of tke direct effect of Taxes upon 
J'rica. The author trusts that /he iedy of facts here reUected may he tf 
permantHl value as a record of the fas! f regrets and present coudition If 
Ike pcputatbin of the Uniird Kinfdem, indefenJenlly of the ImHsiltry 
iirauuitaiices of its frtsent Taxatsan. 

NATIONAL INCOME. Wilh Coloured Diogntnu. Svo. 31. td. 

Part l. — Clasiifaation of the Pofmlatien, Upper, Middle, and ttimr 
Classes. II. — Incomt of Ike United Kingdom. 

" A painilakiH^ and retlainly most inlertsling iBjuify."— PaLL Mai.L 

Bernard.— FOUR lectures on subjects connected 

WITH UIPLOMACV. By Mountaouk Bernard, M.A., 
Chichele Professor of Inlemationnl Law and Diplomacy, Oxford. 

pBHr LKturei, dtaliitg toilk (l) Tie Cimgrai a/ Ifa/fAatia ; (i) Syitemi 
tf FeHiy; (3) Dijilemacy, Ptut and Prtsmt ; (4) The Obligatitm ej 


By Alexander Gilchrist. With numerous Illustiadons from 

Blake's designs, and Fac-bimilcs uf his sludies of the "Book of 

Job." Two vols, medium Svo. 3ZJ. 

TTitse vobtmis contain a Lifi tf Btnke ; Stlations from hii Ifritingi, 

itulmiiiigPBtms; Ltlltrs; Annolaltd Calalogiu of PictHres and DrraiitHgt, 

Lilt, milk Bccasional notes. 0/ Blai^s Engravings and Writings. Thtre 

tre apptndal Engraved Designs iy Blakt; (i) The Boot •>/ Jvb, twtntf- 

tne phelB-Uthographs from the originals ; (l) Songs of Iniuetnit and 

Exptriencf, sixteen of lie original Plates. 

Blanford (W. T.}.— geology and zoologv or 

ABYSSINIA. By W. T. Blankoro. Svo. zis. 
This twrt eonlai'is an actount of the Geological and ZfoUgieaJ 
Oiieniationj made by the Author in Abyssinia, when accompanying the 
British Army en its march lo Magdala and tad in 1S68, and durinj a 
short jBumey in NarthcTH Abyssinia, after the dtfarlHrt of the troops. 
Parti. Personal Narrative: Part It. Geology; Pari HI. Zoology. 
With Coloured Illustrations and Geological Map. 

\ Bright (John, M. P.)-— SPEECHES ON QUESTIONS OF 

PUBLIC POLICY. By ike Right Hon. John Bright, M. P. 

Edited by Professor Thobold Rogers. Two vols. Svo. ly. 

Second Edilion, with TottraiL 

"/ have divided the Speeches contained in these volumes into groups. 

[ .27ie materials for selection are so aiundaiit, that 1 have been conslraintd 

I many a speech which ii worthy of careful perusaL I hart 

I nalitraify given promiatnce la those subjects with vihich Mr, Bright has 

especially identified, as, for example, Ind%a, America, Ireland, and 

I Parliamtntary Reform. But nearly toery topic of great public interest on 

■ Mtirii Mr. Bright has spoken it rrpresenled in thest volumes." 

EPITOR'S Prbfack. 

Bright, (John, M.P.) («,/,rtB««/j— 

AUTHOR'S POPULAR EDITION. F.ilni faip. 8vo. dolh. Second 
Edilion. jr. bd. 

Bryce.— THE HOLY ROMAN EMPIRE. By Jamis Britck, 
B,C.L., Ktpns Professor of Civil Uw, QiJori. New nad Re- 
vised Edition. [.Vearfy rtady. 

CHATTERTON : A Biographical Study. By Dasibl Wilson, 
LL.D., Profnsor of History and English Lilcrature in Uuvenitf 
Coll^^, Toronto. Crown 8yo, bi. dJ, 
Tkt /tiuAirr Aire ngardi CJiattertoH as Ibd, ti^'t ai a mirt " ra/tta- 

amt atfiutr 0/ stslcn Itlerary Irtattira." Rtvifittd in lAis iigAt, it iai 

fiMnd mtuh in tkt eld maieriaU capablt aj hting turtitd to Hem iKtemiil ; 

and la that mairrials naartk m varieui dinctiens has mailtd him it 

makt semi additigHs. 

Clay.— THE PRISON CHAPLAIN. A MemoiioftheRev. JoMK 
Clav. B.D., Ute Chaplain o< the Fresloo Gaol. With Sdectiou 
from his ltc|K)rl5 and Correspondence, and a Sketch of Piucn 
DiscijiUnc in Englnnd. By his Son, the Rev. W. L. Clay, M.A. 
8vo. 15». 

" J^nv boais iatv afi/eared ef lilt yiars bdtfr mlilleJ to an atlaUiei 
fe-mal. ■ . . It frarntia comfttttnartalaife/al} IhalkashnndeHtani 
mitemptidhji varietu fhHatUhrofitls fir lAtameOfration 0/ Iht candition and 
tkt imfirmviuvt of lit marali af tht trinaiial tlasiti in tilt Briliti 

domitii<iiu."-~lMnaoti RenKW. 

Cobden. — speeches on questions of public 

I'(51.ICy. By Richard Cobden. Edited by the Right Hon. 

John BRtciir, M.l>, and Professor RoGBXS. T»oVols.8»o, With 

Porirail. (Uniform with Bright's Speeches.) 
Thi Spetfha cenlainid in Ikae two v^uma hat>i tttn srtetUd and 
idittd at til imlaiici ef Ike Cobden Cluk Tiiy fonn an imfortaat fart 
af Ihal colletlhit coalriiuHeii ft> /tlitital itierut vJlith kal (On/iTrtd an 
Iktir aulkar se fast a rtfulatieH. 

Henry Coover, F.S.A., and Thompson Cooper, F.S.A. 

Vol. LSvo., 1500-85, l8r. ; Vol. II., 158&-1609, 1&. 
T/iii ilatoralt'U'ort, v/kiiA is deJi-.attd bv ftrmiision ^ Lord lHacaiUat, 
lonlaini livB of Ike titu'iuitl men sent firik by Ctunbrtdgl, ofitr ikt 
Mshien af Anthtity A IKwr/, in kit/jmr-Hs " Athenx Otmniimtis'' 


By G. V. Cox, M.A., New Collie, Late Esquire Bedel and 

Coroner in the University of Oxford. Saoiid Edilion. Crown 8vo. 

loi. bH. 

"Ah amusing fam^Q of an^Jote, and will pltasantly rvall in many 

« eeunlry parionagi lAe memory ofysutkful nbjr."— TIMES. 

Dicey (Edward) — the MORNING LAND. By Edwajid 
DlCKV. Two vols, crown 8vo. lbs. 
"An iirvitation to be prtscnt at Ikeopttiing ef the Sua Canal -was the 
immtdiate catut of my journry. Bui I made it my object aho to Sit as 
mncA Iff the Slerning Land, of tehose marvels the cannt across tht 
Ilik»tus is only the least and laieil, as time and a/fiortunity would /rrmit. 
Tlie result oj my ebun-afions loai commuHitated to the jeuTHoi I theit 
r^reienled, ill a series of letters, which I iiotu give la tie public in a 
eeiietted farm." — Exirnct from Autuok's Trui'ace. 

Dilke. — GREATER BRITAIN. A Record of Travel in English- 

speaking Countries during 1S66.7. (America, Australia, India.) 

By Sir Crables Wentwortr Dilkk, M.P. Fifth »nd Cheap 

Edition. Crown Svo. fa. 

" Mr, Dilke has luritteii a taei tiiUch ii probably as ■a-ell vorth reading 

Ml any boat of the lame aims and eharaeler thai ever -aai vritleii, lis 

tmiriti art that it is writteu in a liody and agreeable style, thai it implies 

» gTMi deal 0/ physical pluek. that no page of it fails to show an acute and 

iigify ittteiligeHt observer, that it stimulates lit imaginatian as vielt as the 

ittdgmtnl of the reader, and that it is on perhaps the mast interesting 

lubjtct that can attract an Englishman via cares about his country." 

Satoedat Review. 

Diirer (Albrecht). — HISTORY OF the life of al- 

BRECHT DURER, of NiimbcrB. With a Translation of his 

Lellcra and Journal, and some »ccount of his wotlts. Hy Mrs. H EATON. Royal 8vo. bevelled boards, extra gilt, ^ 

nil mart contains about Thirty Illustrations, ten of which are produe- 

■^ns by the Autotype {carbon) process, and are printed in permanent tints 

ty Afessrs. Cundall and Fleming, under licenit from the Autotype Com- 

JMhv, Limited; the rest are Photographs and Woodcuts. 


"Juvenile Sectton." 


Elliott.— LIFE OF HENRY VENN ELLIOTT, of Bnehn^ 
By JosiAii Rateman, M.A., Author oT " Life of Dmid WHsob, 
Bishop of Ca.Iculta," &c With Portrdt, engraTed by jBECt; 
and an Appendix conlainitig a shon sketch of tbe life of tW Rev. 
Joiius Elliott (who met with accidental death idule a&cadne Ae 
Schreckbominjuly, 1S69.) CrotmSvo. &>.&/. Sooond Editia^ 
with Appendix. 
' ' A viry tharmiHg fiUce of rdigieui tiografikji .■ <te tun tarn nmd i 

Mntheut betk pltaiuri and prefit." — Bkitish QVAKTCkLy RsTlKW. 

Fairfax. — a life of the great lord fairfaj:. 

Comtnatuier-in- Chief of the Army of the Pailiaiiicnl of Eagb>& 
By Clements R. Markhah, F.S.A. With I 
Piani, and Illustrations. Demy Svo. i( 
N0 full Life cf the gnat Parliamentary C 
and U ii Jure lau^ki ta produet ene — bai 
temporary rieordi and upon family and 1 

" ir^hly useful la the tareful itudent of Uu Niitory y Uk OnT fKv. 

. . ProhaMy ai a miliSary eironicU Mr. MarUat^i fcatl a «r 

ef Ike moil full and acturati that ■sie possta aioul lie Cieit ifiir." — 


Forbes. — life of professor edward forbes, 

F,R.S. By GsoKGE Wilsos, M.D, F.l(.S,E^ lad AkCHtuu) 

Geiilie, F.R.S. Sto. with Fonrait. 141. 
' From the firit page to Oi last tJkt hvok elaimt tmr^ Tm£^,tx iai^ 
fietmnof m mind tkatwai ran ia Om^k amd tatrnty," — Examinix. 

Freeman. — historv of federal goversmext. 

ftiMB Ihe FooadatioD oi Ibe AdMoaa Leagae In the DniwptiaB of 
Ibe United Sates. B; Edwajid A. Fkeemjuh, M.A. VeL L 
General Inirodnclicii. Vjxtorj al (he Greek Fed^mlmi, %n- 

■ 71r^«t Mr. />— a It umJirtiym u tmr rfgrmt i\m^ a\ii 
l\tf\U 111, n iiaham fcrf ^ — a l mt tt rmUnly mm<d t km m^. JA 


Freeman [fonimufft)— 


EiiwARD A, FaEEMAN, M.A., late Fellow of Trinity Cnlliec 

Oiford. With Fail CvUmred Ma/is. Extra fesp. 8vo., half- 

bouod. 6j. 

" //J fl^ttl is to show that dear, aeniT3ti,aud sntHtific vieivs e/Hulory, 

er iiidted of any luijccl, may be miily gnitn te children from the very 

first. . , Ihat'i, Ihopi,skiniiH that ii is perfectly nity ft ttack childrtti, fram 

Ikt nfry first, to distiiigvith Inu history alike from iegtnd and frtm Tvilfui 

imienlion, and also A> undersland the nature of hittoriial aulAoritiei, and 

te weigh oiu statement against another. . . . . I have throughout striven to 

tonnat Ike history of Engiand TeilA the general history of eiviliud Eurfpt, 

and 1 have especially tried to make tht book serve as an incentive to a mure 

acciratt study of historical grograpAy." — Prefa(;e. 


as illusltaling the History of the Cathedral Churches of the 0!d 

Foundation. By Edwarii A. Freeman, D.C. L., formerly Fellow 

of Ttinily College, Oxford. Crowik Svo. 3/. 6d. 

" I have htre tried to treat Ike history of the Church of Wells ai a con- 

Iriinlion to lie general history of the Church and Alngdom of England, 

and sfeeialty te the history of Cathedral CAurehes of lAe Old Foundation. 

, . , / virh to fieiiit out the general firiiiciplei of tAe original founders at 

Ike model la -mAich lAe Old Fauadaliom should be hroiigAl back, and the 

Ifrm Foundationt nformed after their />atl*ra."—PKErACt. 

French (George Russell). — SHAKSPEAKEANA 

GENEALOGICA. Svo. cloth extra, t$s. Unirorro with the 
" Cambridge Shakespeare." 
Fart I.—IdtntiJicatioH of lAe ArtayaWi-pcrsanx iu Ike historical flays, 
from King John to A'ing Henry VIII. ; AWer on Character, in Mactah 
and Hamlet; Persons and Places ithngitig to WarwictsAirt allnded to. 
Part II.— Tht Shaksptare and Ardenfamilitt and their (onnexioiu, Joitk 
TtiUtl of descent. Tht present is tht first attempt to give a ddailtd de- 
scription, in consecHlivt order, of each of the dWniBlis persons in Shah- 
sptaris immortal chronicle-kistorits, and some of the characters haae been, 
it ii belittvl, ktrtin identified for the first lime A clutisfumishtdv)kitk, 
folbwed up with ordinary diligence, may enable any one, uvlA a tasle for 
tht pursuit, to trace a disHnguisked Shaksfieareau worthy to kis lineiil 
r^reseMtatiot ill tlit present day. 

Galileo.— THE prfvate life of Galileo. CompW 

principkll]' from bis CorrexpoDdmce and that of his ddal 

daughter, Siiter Matia Celeste, Nun in the Fruidsotn Convent of 

S. Mntthew in Arcetri With PorlraiL Crown Svo. 7/, 6rf, 

It hat ieen llu emUavimr ej tki eomfiUr la place btfort lit ttetUr 11 

plain, ungarbltd ilattmenl of focti ; and at a means A> liis end^ la alSm 

Galilta, hU frimds,and hii judges to sfeoi far ihems^ves as far as fes^te. 

Gladstone (Right. Hon. W. E., M.P.).— JUVENTUS 

MUNDI. Tbe Gods and Men of ihe Heroic Age. Crown Sm. 

eloih ciira. With Map. icw. 6^. Second Edition. 

This new uvirk of Mr. Gladsloiu deals esfetiaUy Ti<Uh tht historic 

dtmenl in Homtr, expouiiding iMal element and fiimishiHg by tit aid a 

JUU aceoHHt of Iht ffamrrk sim and the Homtrie r/Egion. It itattt, after 

the introduclsry chapter, with a diiciusan of the several races then txbting 

in Htllae, imluding Ike infiuenee tf the Phanieians and Egyptiani. It 

caftains eii^itenen the Olympian system, -aiilh its several deitus ; on Ihl 

Ethits and the FoHty of the Heroic age; an the geography tf Homtr; om 

Ike characters of the Poems ; preseHting, in fine, a viem of frimitivi l^i 

and primitrve society as found in Ike poemi of Homer. To this Nat 

Edition various additions have iem made. 

"GLOBE" ATLAS OF EUROPE. Umform in siie with M«e- 
millnn'i Globe Series containing 4^ Coloured Maps, on a unilbnn 
scale and projection ; with Plans of London and Parii, and • 
copious Index. Strongly bound in half-morocco, with flexible 

7»it Alias includes alt the cavHiries of Europe in a series of 48 Maps, 
drawn oh the same scale, with an Alphabetical Index to the situalitn of 
more than ten thousand places, and lie relalian of IhevariOHs maps and 
eountriet to each other is defined in a general Key-map. All tie maps 
icing 0" a uniform scale facilitates the comparison of extent and distance, 
and conveyi a just impression of Ike tvlatise magnitwU of different countria. 
The site suffices to show the provincial divisions, lie raihaays and main 
reads, Ike principal rrifert and mountain ranges. " TTiit all/is," mrilts Iht 
British Quarterly, " wUl he an invaluable icon for the school, tit dai, or 
the traveller's portmanteau. " 

Godkin (James). — the land war in Ireland, a 

History for the Times. By James Godkis, Author of "Ireland 
and her Churches," lale Irish Correspondent of the Tym/j-. Svo. iii. 
A History of the Irish Land Question. 

Guizot. — (Author of "John Halifax, Grntleman.")— M, DE 

BARANTE, A Memoir. BiographicB] and Aiitobiogmphical. By 

M. GuKOT. Translnied by Ihc Auihor of "John Haufak, 

Gentleman." Crown Svo. 61. fii/. 

•* TXf highlit furfvta of tti/A history and biography are aam<ertd fy a 

wirmoirte Itftliir, so faithfiil, and to fhilesefiical." 

British Quarterly Review. 

HISTORICAL SELECTIONS. Readings from the best Authorilia 

on English and European History. Sclecled nnd arranged by 

E. M. Sewell and C. M. YoNr.E. Crown 8vo. 61. 

A Second Series. Ntarly ready. 

WhrHyiiHHgckHdrmhimtaiqiiircd tktmdina oj kistinyfromahrid^ 

wants and catec/iismi, and it bteoma deiiratle la give a more en/arged 

ef the tubJHt, in order 'to render it really us^al and inleraling, a 

^J^ultyiiften arises as la the ihoiee e/ hooks. Tare cota-sri artopm, either 

M take a gnural and eOHsequtntly dry kiitery ej fatit, such ai HusseU's 

Modem Etirofe, or to choose itlne wort treating ef a particMtar period or 

tutjeet, iwii as the worts of Maeautay and Fronde. 7he /ermer tourie 

tuually renders history uninteresting : the latter is unsalii/ae/ory, ieeause 

not sifffidenOy eomfrehensive. To remedy this di^rul^, adeetioni, 

Htmu and chrvHologieal, have in iht present volume been lahen from 

tlu larger wBrhs bJ Freeman, Hitman, Palgratr., and others, tohiih may 

u distiael landmarhs of historical reading. " W* tioti' of sraredy 

anything" sayi M< Guardian, of this volume, "which is so liiely to raise 

tta higher level the average standard of English edueation." 


ENGLAND AND FRANCE. By the Rev. C HoL(, M.A., 

Trinity Collegf, Cambridge. On Sheet, u. 
Tie different famiiiei are printed in distinguishing eolovrs, IhtufacHi- 
•tuing reference. 

Artsnged by the Rev. Charles Hole. M.A. Second Edition. 

iBrao. neatiy and slrongly bound in cloth. 4J. hd. 
One of the moil comprehensive ami accurate Biographical Dictionaries 
£■ Iht vorU, contdiHiHg more than 16,00a persons of all foiintriei, wUk 

t^ birth and death, and what they urere distingnishtd far. Extreme 
tare haebrtH iestevied OH the verifcalion if the dales; and thus namerons 



fir Iht dak, parlmaHttau, er fttktt, 

" Ati irrvaluaitt additien la tttr manmali t 
modrratt price, (annetfait tv iecame ai/vfiu/ar 

Hozier. — the SEVEK weeks* war : in Antecedents anJ 
it! IncidcTils. Bj H. M. Hoeiek. With Maps and Plans. Two 
Tols. 8vo, a&f. 
Till inort is iaied upen Ittltri refriniti by ptrmistian frcm " The 

Times." For Iht moil f art il U a frodtiil b/ a prrtaHot tyt-ii^tnai of tenie 
ef Iki mail inlcreiling iniidcnts of a taar viAiti, far rafidily and detitit^ 
rtiuils, may claim an almost unrivailtd potitian in hislorv. 

Authentic Documenu. By Captain Hrnrv M. Hozier, late 
Assistant Military Secmary to LoRi Napiet of Magdala. Svo. 91. 

" Sfirral aetmnts ef tkt British Exfedilion iain bm pabliik/d. 

Thty kiKv, konvtier, bun wrUlen ty ikoic tvko have net had anas to tkost 
aiUheniic documttits, vikick cannol tc CBllectrd directly after the ttrminaHan 

afa campaign Tki mdanfotir of the anther ej tkii stiiek kai iem tt 

pnimtte rtaden a mccincl and impartial accomtt oj an eiiteipriie wAicA 
kat rarely aetn equalled in Ike annals ^owr."— Pkeface. 

Irving.— THE ANNALS OF OUR TIME. A Diurnal of Events, 

Social and Political, which have happened in or had relation to 

the Kingdom of Great Britain, from the Accession of Quest 

Victoria to the Opening of the present Pariiamenl. By Joskfu 

IltvtNG. 8va. hatf-bound. i&r. 

" iVe kaoe b^ore us a trusty and ready guide to tic events if Ike fail 

thirty years, mmUable equally Jar the statesman, Ike paliHcian, the piMU 

viriltr, and Ike grntral reader. If Mr. Irving'! object has been to bring 

bt^re Ike reader all Ike mast noleaorlky oceurrnices vikick have happened 

since Ike beginning of Her Majesl/i reign, ke may justly claim the credit 

of htrving done so moil briefly, succinctly, and simply, and in such a 

manner, loo, as lo furnish kim aiilh the details necessary in mck case ta 

eomprekend the event efwhiik he is in search in an intelligent manner. 

Ejection vUl serine to show Ike great ■nalue 0/ such a work as this la the 

jeurnalist and stalesmaa, and indeed la every one jiiha feels an inleretl in 


tif progrta of tht age ; attd we may add ikal Us value ii tfKiiJlraHy 
intreaied by tie addition if Ihal most imforlani if atl appmdices, an 
aicurate and instruclim index." — Times. 

Kingslcy (Canon) — ON THE ANCIEN REGIME as it 
misted on the Continent before the French Revolution. 
Three Lectures iJelivered M the RoynJ Inslilution. By tlie Rev, 
C. KiNGSLKY, M.A., formeily Professor of Modern llisloty 
in the l^niretsity of Cambridge. Crown 8vo. 6j. 

Tiae three Itclura discuss severally (l) Casle, (3) Cenlralitalioii, (j) 

TTie Exf^osevt Forres by leiaA tie Revo/utivi tats sup/rinduted. The 
Preface deals at seme length loith certain polilicai questions of the jtrcsml 

THE ROMAN AND THE TEUTON. A Seiies of l^ciures 
delivered before tlie University of Camhridge, By Rev. C. 

KiNGSLEV, M.A. 8vo. 121. 

CosTKina -.—/Hangunil Z^lure ; The Foreti Children ; The Dyiux 
Em^re; Ihe Human Deluge : The Gothic Civiliser; Dietrich's End; 7*e 
Nemesis ef the Goths; Paulut Diacsnus ; Tlu ClerS}- and Ihi Heathen ; 

The Mania Civiliser ; The Lombard L.iwi : The Popes and the Lombards ; 

The Strategy of Pnniidence. 

Kingsley (Henry, F.R.G.S.). — tales ok OLD 
TRAVEU Re-narrated by HenrvKcngslev, F.R.G.S. With 
Eight illustrations by IIUARU. 'i'hird EdHion. Crown 8vo. 6j. 

Contents:— -1/ami/W),- The Shipwreck if Pel sari; The Waiiderjul 
Adventures of Andrew Battel; The Wanderings efa Capuchin! Peter 
Carder; Tht Preiervalion of the " Terra Nova ; " Spitibergen ; LfErme- 
tiamniyiAeclimatiiatian Adventure; The Old Slave Trade ; Miles Philips ; 
The Sufferings of Robert Everard ; John Fox ; Alvara Nnnet ; TheFoun- 
dalioH if an Empire. 

Latham black and WHITE; a Jonmal of a Three Monlhs' 

Tour in the United Suiea. By Henky Latham. M.A., Harti.sicr- 


" Tht ifirti ia vkUh Mr. Latham hat vmtun aiiml <>«r hntllrvi im 
Amfrita it lommendaiie im kigh digree." — Ati]em.cciii. 

Law — THE ALPS OF HANNIBAL. By William Joan Ijtw. 
M.A., formerly Student of Christ Chnrdi, Oxford. Two tdIi. 
8vo. til. 

" Na em tan rtad Ikt toork aHJ ni>t atqnire a rmiPietum that, in 
addition te a thenugh grtifi ef a farlicmlar lepic, Ui vribr ha al 
tommamd a largt ilerr e/ nading and Ikeiigkl k/o« many lagHtte faiati 
tfaneiml hiilory and gmgrafiiy, "~^VkIi.Teki.M REVIEW. 


Compiled from OriEinfll Family DocumenU by Ciuki.EJi DtiKX 
VONOE, Regius Professor of History and English Litciatore in 
Queen's Colleec BetfaAl ; and Author of " The History of the 
British Navy," " The Hislary of France onder the Boorbons," etc. 
Three toIs. 8vo. 421. 

Sinct tht time of Lard BurUigh m eiu, trce^ tht skbhJ Pitt, aitr 
oijtytd so long a ienun t/ fcwrr ; ■wilA tit tame exaflian. Ma entrvrr 
htld o^a al te critical a time .... Lorii Lhvrfoal ii Ihi very /at! 
miniiftr leAe if<u Seen ahlefidly It carry out hiJ awn folilical vitw ; ntti) 
has btm so ilrong that in Motltrr of gmeral pelicy the OppantioH ceuld 
extort no coiKaiions from him whici wert ncl laitctimid iy kit ntm 
ddOtrale judgmml. Tht fraait vuri ii foHndtd a/most (ntirtfy m tie 
ctrrafVHdmttl^ Mind Aim by Ltrd Lhtrfoel, and kkv in tAt/eaaium 
^ Cehnd and Ledy Catktrini Haraarl. 

" Ftiil »f information and iHitnicficin.'^—¥otiTmaHTi,\ Review. 

MacmiUan (Rev. Hugh).— holidays on high 

LAND.S ; or, Rambtes and Incidents in search ot Alpine Plants. 

By the Rev. Ht;t;M MacmilIj\N, Author of "Bible Teachings in 

Nature." etc Crown 8vo. cloth, bs. 
" Botanical irioailedge ii bUndcd with a lime of nature, a piout tn- 
Ikuiiasm, and a rich fdicity of diction net to be met toith in any WMlb 
^ kindred eharcteter, if me except ihoie of Hugh MUttr.'" —t>MVl 



Hacmillan (Rev. Hugh), {cauHnuid)— 

tratiom. Fcap. Svo. 5/. 

" TTuue viha have derivtd ^tamrt and profit fivm tit sttidy of flaaiert 
and ferm — subjtds, it « plmsing lo find, new eimywhrrt fepular — ty 
dtseaiding Imtvr Mo fhe arcana oflhc vegetable tingdom, villi find a still 
mere intereiHng and ddighlfiil field ofi research in the objects brought under 
review in the fellcrvjing pages." — Pbefack. 

Martin (Frederick) — THE STATESMAN'S YEAR-BOOK : 
A Statistical and Hiiilcirical Account of the States of the CinlUed 
World, Manual (bt Polilicions and Merchants for the year 1870. 
Bv FUKUEKICK MaKtin. Seventh Annual pHiliattioii. Ciom 


I. ^. 

The new issue has been entirely re-mritien, rrvisid, and eomried, on the 
basis of official reports received direct from tki heads of the leading Govern- 
mentsofthe World, in reply to tuters sent ta them by tht Editor. 

" E-Jtrybody who hurBis this toork is aware that it is a fyot that is indie- 
fensable to writers, financiers, politicians, statesmen, and all viio an 
direelly or indirectly interested in the political, lociitl, industrial, com- 
mercial, and financial condition of their fiUmu-ereatttres at home and 
airoad. Mr. Martin deserves warm coirnnendation far the care he takes 
M making ' The Statesman's Year Book' compete and eorreel." 


FiiEDERiCK Martin, Auihor of "The S 
Exlia fcap. Svo. 61. 

This volnmeis em attempt to prodnee a book of reference, ftirmihing in 

m eendmsed form some biographical particulars of notable living men. 
Tie leading idea ins been to give only facit, and those in rht briefest farm, 
and l» exclude opinions. 


Martincau. — biographical sketches, 1S51— 1868. 

By Harriet Martinbau, Third Edition, with New Preface. 

Crown 8vo. %s. hd. 
A CnllitlioH of MenuHrs undo- thai trvtral teetions :~{,\) R^al, (s) 
PtUHdaiis, (3t Prt/asitHol. (4) ScUntifie, (5) Sacial, (6) LUtrary. TJni* 
Memoirs afftor«l ori^nally in lAe celumm 0/ the"'Dtii\f Kcvs." 

Milton. — LIFE OF JOHN MILTON. Nanatcd in conneuon 
wilh the Political, Ecdesiasticol, and Lilenuy Hrslory of his 
Time. By David Masson, M.A., LL.D., Professor of Rhetoric 
Bl Edinburgh. Vol. L wilh Poitrajti. 8™. 181. Vol. IL in 
the Press. 

ll is iitttaded le exkihU Miltoits life in Us nnaexitas ti-ili all Ou nun 
notable phenomena of ikt feriod nf British Ahtmy in v>iich U was east — 
ill itatt politics, its ecelesiastital tiarialioHi, its tiltraimrt and sfetulativt 
ItiougAt. Ofmmettcing in 1608, thtLifeat MUfn firgettds tkrougk tit 
iasi rixteai yean tf Ike reign of yntnts I. , ineluda tie whalt of the reign 
of Charles /. and the stiiiefuent years of the Commoinatallh and the 
Protectorate, and then, passing tkt Reslnratian, extends ilsdf to 1674, or 
through fomieen yean of the nrv state «f thingt under Charles //. The 
first velwnte deals leith the lift of Milton as extending from 1608 to 1640, 
vihith vjas the period of kis education end of his miji»r poemi. 

Abba» of Clnirvaut By James CorrER MasisoN, M.A. New 
Kdition, revised. Crown Svo, ^s. bd. 

" One of the test contrtintiens in mtr literature loamrds a i-ivid, intel- 
tigtnt, and -worthy kneadedge of European interests and thoughts and 
fidings during the taieiflh century. A delightful and iHStmctiM naluiHe, 
«.nd one of the best produits qftiemcdern historic spisTt." 

Pall Mall Gazette. 

Morley (John).— EDMUND BURKE, & Historical Study By 
JoiiN MoKLEv, B.A. Osoiu Crown 8vo. 7j. W. 

" 7%e style is terse and ineisroe, and trilliani teith epigram anJ point. 
It contains pithy aphoristic sentences which Burke himself would not hcaie 


d-SMiinrd. But that are ttot iti tat fiatura .* its sustaiatd fount- ef 
rtasoning, its viuie swef of obiervaliaH and rtfieclien, ill dnated tthkal 

Mullinger. — Cambridge characteristics in the 

' SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. By J. B. Mullingeb. B.A. 
Crown Svu. 4J. (ni. 

It is a very tntertaining and readable boab." — Saturday Review. 

Palgrave. — history of Normandy and of Eng- 
land, By Sir Francis Palgrave, Deputy Keeper of Her 
Majesty's Public Records. Compleling the Uislory la ihe Death 
oF William Rufus. Four vols. Svo. ^4 41. 

Valumi I. General Riiatioiis of Maliaval Eumpe— The Carhviiigiaa 
Empirt—Tkt Danish Expedilinns in the Gauls— Ami the Establishment 
»/ Rollo. Valumt II. The Three First Duhei 0/ Normandy; Rate, 
GMiUauau Longui-Efik, and Richard Saits-Ptar—Thi Carlevingiam 
lisu supplanted try the Capets. f^olume III. Richard Sans-PeKr— 
Ritkard Le-Ben—Riehard ///.^Robert Le Diahle— tVilliam the Cen- 
fwFvr. Vi^ume IV. WUliaru Kufus—Ateessian of Henry Beaucterc. 

Palgrave (W. G.). — A narrative of a year's 

ARABIA, 1862-3. By William Giffokd Palguave, laic of 

the Eighlh Regiment BombBy N. I. Fifth nnd ciicaper Edition. 
With Maps, Plans, and Portrait of Author, engraved on strel by 
Jeens. Cronn Svo. 6r. 

" Censideriag the extent of our previous ignorance, the amount of Ail 
aehiaiemenls, and the importance of his centrikitions ta our kmrjiltiige, me 
eannet say less of him than 'Jias once said of a far greater discoverer. 
Mr. Palgravi has indeed given a new tuorid It Ettrofe'' 

Pall Mali. Gaiitte. 


Parkes (Henry). — aDSTRAUan views of ENGLAND. 
Bf Hbnry Parkes. Crown Svo. dotb. 31. 6J. 
" 7%t folltriring lottri vieri tmlttn during d raiJoKt in Emglamd, in 
the yrart 1861 and l86a, naiietri fubUikrd in the "Sydney Momiog 
Hcnld" OH Ikt arrival of Ihi menlhly rnaUt . ... Oh rt-fimaaJ, liar 
laitrs afiftar It caniaiH meiet ef Sitgliik lift and imfresiims ^ En^A 
iu4aiiUlia ahUk, as Ifu vtmu and imprtaioHi of cm EngUiAmam »n 
rtturH It Ail nalrBe aatnlry oftir an abttiKe ef hetnty ytari, may mel it 
a^hoKt iHlemt ta lit Engiisk riader. Tie viriitr had ^ferimiiiliei 
mixing tBitA different elajiea rflAe Britiih ferfJe, and ef hearing epmiftu 
tH palling evmti (nm fffeiite ilnHdpaiiti a/ ^s/rvati(>H."^-Avra<a,'s 

Prichard.— THE administration of India. From 

tSj9 lo 1S68. The First Ten Yean of AdminisCrstian under th« 
Crown, By Iitudus Thomas Prichard, Barrister-at-Law. 
Two vols. Demjr Svo. With Map. an. 

/>! lAaa volumei the anlhrtr Am aimed lo laf ply a full, impartial, ant 
indepcadent •uceunt of Britiih India between 1859 and t86S — mhick is 
in many rapaU the most impertant ^eek in the kiitiiry «/ tkat eenntry 
vikith the preieat tenlury hai sten. 


upon Contemporary Documents. By Edward Edwards. To- 
gether with Rolcgh's Letters, now first collected. With Portrait. 
Two vols, Svo. 321. 
" Mr. Edwardi has lertainly ■airillen Ike ZJj \ talegk from fiiller 
in/ormatien than any previmu biographer. He it intelligeHl, indrntrumi, 
tympalhetic : and the world has in kit twa veltunes larger means affordid 
it of knirwing Jtalegk Ikan it mer passesifd be/ere. Tke new letters and 
Ike ntv}lv-ediltd old letleri are in Iktmielva a Stan." — Pai-L Mall 


Robinson (Crabb). — DIARY, REMINISCENCES, AND 

Selected and Edited by Dr. SAIN.ER. With Portmii. SeMod 
Edition. Three vols. Svo. doth. jfo. 


■i^mit^, WT4 t a .v t1k (atiU witm Mr. Cntt Kttimmi Kot tm ^mt tf 
" t.Av.: aMJhuludBeTaitwmrvty*fKiiftttt,ptlilii»l,Stnrrt*tJai- 

Rogers (James E. Thorold).— historical CLEAN- 
INGS : A Scrici ol Sketches. Monlaene. Wilpole; Aitm Smitli, 
Cobbetl. By Professor Rogeks. Crown %vo. 41. &£ 

Profiler Ri-gerfi oif'trt in Iht felirmng dultha u »* frtKtit *mtt/ 
f tiderital Jiuts, greffrJ nmiU a prinafal figurt. Tht oaga mrt im ti* 

HISTORICAL GLEANINGS. Second Series. CrOTn Sto 6j. 

emfiaithii iv/iime A> t/u Firsl Saia ntmtly ftAUshal. li c«*tjins 
faftn mt' fPiHi/. Laud, tVUia, Hbhk Tooit. In tAat Itcturo lie 
auti^ Mat aimfd la tl.itr tAr Jiviaf/mti i/titttme in tokich Uuin ~ " 
vh^se history is haitdlaiieok part in fuMif business. 

Smith (Professor Goldwin). — THREE ENGLISH 
Lectures on the Polilical Hislocy of Englajid. By GoLUWIN 
Smith, M.A. Extra leap. Svo. Newand Cheaper Edition. Jj. 


r ftlitiei 

1 safely a^rd A> 


A Secies of Essays published under the sanction of the CouillH 

Clitb. Demy Svo. Second Edition. 12^. 

TUt sufy'ati Irealrd are: — r. Tmart of Load in Irfiitnd ; S. Land 

Zaiiu a/ England : 3. Thttirt of Ijtnd in India ; 4. taad Syiltm v/ 

' im and Ifnanad; J. Agrarian Legiilalion of Prussia during th* 

nt Century; 6. Land System of Frame ; 7. tiHssinn Agrarian 

t^lalioii tf 1861 ; 8. F-irm Land and Ijiml L>ivis of the t'nited 


Tacitus.— THE HISTORY OP TACITUS, tnuuUled few 

KnyliBh. Bx A. J. Chubch, M,A. and W. J. BkodRII^ M.A. 

Wilh a Map and Notes. 8vo. loi. W. 

TTu irnttjiat»rt kaa€ indem-»»rid t9 adhere at clssefy It tit »rigi*ll " 

wat tlioHghl cenmltHi mth a proper ebstrvaace tf Englitk iJitm, Al 

llu tami time it has ban Ihtir aim ta r/prodiue the firaite exfnuim « 

llu Kuthor. This -mn-k is charath-riird iy lit Speclalor as "d iihiUri) 

ami/aiiAJUl Iramtatioa. " 

THE AGRICOLA AND CERMANIA. Tnns1al«j into English by 

A. J. Church, M,A. and W, J. BRuURrnB, M.A. With Mipi 

uid Noles. Extra fcap. Svo. ir. ftd, 

TTu IraHslaieri have leH^hl If pmiaee stick a itriioH at may la^ff 

Kkolars aho drmand a failAfni retideriHg ef thi iiiginal, and En^ui 

rtadert v'ho are amended ky the baldness and fri^dily ^hith cirmmnl} 

diifiptre translations. Tie treatises are acefmfionieJ iy iii:n.timlmi, 

nela, ma/is, and a ckronahgktU summary. Tit Alhemcum itjs V 

this -miri Ihiit it is" a t'lrsion al once readable and eraft, vihitk vug k 

perused tiHtk pieasHri 6y all, and consulted ii'ith advantage hy tiu tlasind 


Taylor (Rev. Isaac).^\vORDS AND PLACES; or 

Etymological lllustrarions of Tlislory, Etymology, and Go^taphj, 
By the Rev. Isaac Tavlor. Second Ediiion. Crown Sto, 

Trench (Archbishop).— GUST A V US jCDolphuS: SoeUl 
Aspects of the Tliitty Years' War. By R. Chenkvix Tkench, 
D.D., Arehbiiihop of Dublin. Fcap. 8vd. zr. &/. 

re to many 1$ 
5 Mail. 

Trench (Mrs, R.}. — Remains of the kte Mrs. RICHARD 

TRENCH. Being .Selections from her JmimaJs, Leltera, Bud 
other Pnpers. EdiieJ by Akchbishop Trench. New aal 
cheaper Iwue, with Porlrail, 8vo. fo. 


Cenlaim Hoticts and atitcdoUs UlustratiHg the sorial lift ^ tht ptriod 
— exlmdiitg m/CT a quarter ef a ctntmy (1799 — 1827). It iraluda altt 
poems and ^ktr miscdlanaus pieces by Mri. 7>enci. 

Trench (Capt. F., F.R.G.S.).— THE RUSSO-INDIAN 

QUESTION, Historically, Strnt^cally, and Politically con- 

siJered. By Capt. Trench, F.R.G.S. With a Sketch of Cmlral 

Asiatic Folilics and Map of Central Asia. Crown 8vo. p. 6J. 

" 7Sj Russo-Indian, or CetOral Asian question has for srvtral otvious 

reuoHs ieen attraeting much public altenlion in England, in Russia, and 

also on the Continent, wUhin the last year or turn. . . . I have thought 

lial the present tvlume, giving a short stitch of the history of this quation 

from its earliest origin, and condensing much of the most recent and intc- 

rtsting infiirmatiom on the subject, and on its collateral fhasis, might 

perhaps it aecfptable to those who take an interest in it," — AvtHok'i 


Trcvelyan (CO., M.P.) — CAWNPORE. niuitiatBd with 
Plan. By G. O. Trevelyan, M.P., Author of "The Com- 
peUtion Wallah." Second E*lition. Crown Svo. 6;, 
" In this boot Twr are not spared one fact of the sad story ; but our 

fedings are not harmocd by the recital of imaginary outrages. It is 

good for us al hone that vie haze one vtho tells his tale so ivdt as dots 

Mr. 7V*Krft«"-"— Pall Mall Gazettb, 

THE COMPETITION WALLAH. New Edition. Crown Svo. 6/. 
" Uie earlier litters are tspecially interesting for their racy descriptions 

of European life in India Those that /allow an of more serious 

import, setting to tell the truth about the Hindoo characlrr and En^ish 
influences, good and bcul, ufon it, as well as la suggest some belter count of 
1/ than that hitherto adapted."— EWMtUKfl. 

'. Vaughan {late Rev. Dr. Robert, of the British 


Author of " Hours with the Mystics." By Robert Vaitghan, 

D. D. Second Edition, revised and enlarged. Extra fcap. Svo. Ji'. 

" It desiri>es a place on the some shelf vith Stanley's ' Life of Amolit,' 

tnd Carlyle's 'Stirling.' Dr. Faughan bos ptrformed his painfiil Iml 

H9t all unceasing task vHtk expiisile goad taste and freling." — NoKCOW- 



M.A., late iDoimlieiir of Si. Stepben's Church, Brigliion. By (he 
Rev. J. N. SinpKiNSoN, M,A. ThirJ nnd Cheaper Ediiioo, cor- 
ttctod Mid «b[id£ed. y. 

V Aim tardy mit nrili," — -LtTEKAftV 

Wallace— THE MALAY ARCHIPELAGO: the Land of the 
Orang IJian and the Bird of rantdii^. A Narrative of Tmvd 
Willi Siiidiej of Man and Nature. By Alfred Rcs5f,l Wallace. 
With Maps and lUustnitioiis. Second Edition. Two vok, crmrti 

"A rtirt/nlfy ami ■Miirroltly tvia/aifJ Harmlivi. . . . tVe aJt^tt 
aur rtaderi in de ai rt halt June, rtiid hit A/pt tArangJi." — TlM&S. 

Ward (Professor).- THE HOUSE of AUSTRIA IN THE 
THIRTY' YEARS" WAR, Two Lectures, with Kolei and lllus- 
tmlioni. By Adolphus W. Waub, M.A., Professor of Hislury 
in Owens Collie, Manchester. Extra fgap. 8so. 2i. ftJ. 
" I'lry tem/ku/ ami iHit7Vctav."—ToKTSiaun.Y Revirw. 

By the Hon. J. LEICESTER Warres, M.A, Bto. 21. M 
'* 77ie premit rituv it an atlimft te illustrglt Mr. Fi-UHMi't Fedtral 
Caifrumeiit fy aiidmee iif-iiicnijr,»ii lit tuimigr b/ ihtlima anJ cimnltia 
thtran trrated nf." — PBfiFACE. 


F.R.S.E., R^us Professor of Technology in the Univeisily of 

Edinbui^h. By his SisrEB. New Edition. Crown Svo. ti. 

"All txquisili and lauching fortrml t^ a rtxtt and itatiti/ut ipmt." — 


Wilson {Daniel, L.L..D.). — prehistoric anjjals 
OF SCOTLAND. By Daniel W11.SON. LL.D., Piofesor at 
History and English Litelalure in University College, Toronta 
New Edition, with numennu lUustratiooi. Two voU demy 


Tliii daberale and lamea'tiM^rk is divided into /mr Parts. Pari I. 
dtali^oilk Tbc PrimevBloc Slone Period : Abariginat Traca, StpdcknU 
Alemeriali, DTvcllings, and CiUatombs, Temptis, H'taponi, &-c. Sfe.,- 
Fart JL, The Bronie Period : The Mnailurgic TramUion, Primilivi 
Breme, Ptrsenol Omaments, KrligioH, Arb, and Demotic Ilabitt, with 
ttitr Ipjiics ! PartIIf.,'Uie Iron Period: Tht'TnltvdiKlian tf Iron, Tht 
Soman ImiasiaH, SlnyHgholds. &•[. &••:.; Part lY.. The Chrisllan Period : 
Hiitarical Data, thi Xorriis Law Piiict, Primitive and Mediaval 
Ettlaialogy, Eicltsiatlical and MiscellaHeom Antiquilirs. Th:. wori is 
fiimished 'Jiilh an tlaiorate Index. 

This wort, wliich carrits mil the friaciplt of the preceding ont, but with 
m luider iccfe, aims la "jnmi Man, as far as possiUe, unaffected by f host 
ptedi/ying inSiances which a^fompanv the deve/opmenl of natimi and tkt 
maturity ef a true historic ftried, in erdrr Ihcrtby le ascertain Ih* teurett 
from vikttKi such devdofmettt and maturity froceed." II emitains, Jiir 
ixampli, chapters en the Primeaai Transition; Sfiitch; Metals: Ihl 
Mound-Bm'Idtrs ; Primilive Architecture ; thi American T^pe; tht Rat 
Bleadajthi West, Si-c. &"<-. 

CHATTERTON: A BiograpHcal Study. By Daniel WnsoN, 

LL,D., Professor of History and English Literature in University 

Collie, Toronto. Crown 8vo. ts. bd. 

The Author here regards Chaiterton as a Poet, net as a " mere rtsrtttr 

and dffacer 0/ stolen literary trtasures. " Krviewtd in this light, he has 

fimnd much in the old materials capable of bring lumrd to new account : 

and to these materia/s research in variola directiaiu has tnablid Mm la 

make some additions. 




Allineham. — i^urence blxkjmfield is irela>*i>; 

or, the Kew UuidlonL Bj William Aujiichaii. New sod 
Cbapcr Iwoc. »iili a Prc&ee. Feap. 8to. doth, 41. bd. 
In IMt ntw Pnfaii. Ikt ilaU tj Irdafd, uM iptri^ r^imta * tli 
Ckunh mtaturt, i 

" h ti Mlal toith Ihi nalienal tharacter. . . . Jt hat tamtthiitg ef I^/$ 
ffini ami Celdimilh'i limfluily, tfuthed to a mtrt mcdim ume.' — 

Arnold (Matthew). — poems. By Matthbw AsNOLa 

Two vol*. Eitn reap. Sva cloth. lU. AboH>ldteparatcl7at&. 

Velumtf. ttnbiiai Narralht and El/giac Ptrmt ; t'clunie If. DrV' 
matii and Lyrii thtrnt. Tht two tvlmiui <omfrtiund t/u Ftra ami 
Siiond Stria eflht Pmhu, and Iht Nrw F-xms, 

NEW POEMS. Extra fop. Sto. 61.6./, 

/» Ihti vtlumt will hf/auHd " Emfitdwlis an Etna ; " " 7%yrm " (vrritttn 
in (ommtmoratioH of Iht latt Pre/mar Clougk) ; " Epili<g»tt lo Laiiigt 
/.MitoilH;" " Uiindt Grart;" " Wtmann etut mart." All thai 
fttmt art ali» imhuM in Iht EJilinn (two veil. ] atavt-nunfiontd. 

KSSAYS IN CRITICISM. N«w Edilion, with Additions. Exin 
fcap, 810. 6r. 
CoNTKNTs \~{^ace; Tfit fMUtlioH 0/ CriHtism al Ikt fnitnl timt ; 
ni LiHrary Infiutnct of Aiadrmm ; Alauriii di Gucrin ; Eugmil 
di CftriH ; /MariiA /Mm ; /iigan and Mrditrtial Htligioui S 
Jtmitrl t Sfinota and tit Biilt ; JUairm Aurtiiu!. 



Arnold (Matthew) \,timimHtd)— 

exlra. ^. id. 
Contents: — Poemt far Itafy ; Dramatic Lyrici ; AliurllaHnnis. 
" Uaeomnuin lyriial pmrcr and dttp forlic f/rling." ^A^WaJXI 


Barnes (Rev. ^V.).— POEMS OF RURAL LIFE IN COM- 
MON LNCLIoIl. By Ihe Rev. W. BAfcNiiS, Auihor of 
" Pottns of Rural Life in ibe Dorset Dialect" Fcap. 8vo. fa. 
" In a high drgra pirasani and runtl. Tht b»ek is by na mtani SHt 
whkA Uu Igi/crs 0/ dtscriftriK fvttry can ajord la lese." — hTHVaxvu. 

Glassfiibu Beli. Fcap. Svo. 6i. 
'^ Ftdl ef life aiid gtiiius." — CoUl 

Besant.— STUDIES in early frencii poetry. By 

Walter Bilsant, M.A. Cfowd. Evo. is. 6d. 

A sort of impreision rests en mast minds thai Frtnck lUtrahnt begins 
wilktkt " siiele de Louis Quaterse;" any frei'ieiu literature being far 
lit most part unknown or ignored. Frui inmo anything of lit tnmtnoia 
litirarr aelieily thai began in the Ikirlttnlk century, vxis carried on fy 
RtdOeuf, JUarie de Frana, Casten de Foil, Tkibanll de CkatHfagnc, 
and Lorrii ; tons fostered by Chorln ef Orleans, by Margerel »f Vahii, 
by Franni the hirst ; thai govt a enrurd of versifiers It France, enriched, 
ilrmgtktntd, drvtiti/ed, and fixed the French langnage, and frtpand tkl 
way for ComeilU and for Ratiui, Tkt pnseni -wark aims la afford 
infiirmalton and direction tomking tkt tarly efforts of France in fietlicat 
iileraluri. • 

" Jii ant moderately sised volume kt has CBnlrivtd to introdtict us to tht 
very btst, if not to all ef tht tarly Frtnch/otts."—ATilttlxvil. 

Bradshaw.— AN attempt to ascertain the state 

HIS DEATH. With some Notes of Iheir Subsequent Hiilory. 
By Hkhrv Bradshaw, of King's College, uul the Univertiiy 
Llbnur, Cambridec /" Ike Pitis. 


Brimley.— ESSAYS by the late george brimley. 

M.A. Edited by the Kev. Vi. G. Clakk, M.A. Wiih Poitnil. 
Cheaper Edition. Fcap. 8vo. ji, dJ. 

Etit^i BH literary Icfiii, tueh as Tmnytoii'i " Patmi," Carfyl/t 
"Lift a/ Stirling," " Sliai Hfuit," &•{., rifrinttd fmm Fma, lit 
Spectator, and like ptriodiealt. 

Broome. — THE stranger of SERIPHOS. a Dramaiie 
Poem. By FREUEmcK NAftSR BkooME. Fcap. Svo. 51. 
Foundtd on tht Greek Itgmd of Daaat and Persmt. 

" Graee and beatity oj expretsian art Mr. Braom^t chartKtaijtkt ; 
and that qimlitia are displayed in many fajsnges." — Athen.«UM. 

Church (A. J.).— HOR,U TENN\-S0NIAN^, Sire Eclogw 
c Tennysono Laiine rcddita^ Cnra A. J. Chukch, A-M. 
Extra tcap. Svo. (u, 
Ltilin veriions of Selectloiit from Tenaysatt. Among lie lal/ian are 

the Editor, Ike late Profesmr Coninglen, Prafeiior Steley, Dr. Bess^, 

Mr. Ktikt, and ether gtnlUmen. 

Clough (Arthur Hugh).— the poems and prose 


Sclectiun from hi; Letters and a Memoir. Edilcd by his Wife. 

With Portrait, Two voli. crown Svo. 3lj. Oi Poems wpa- 

rtilcly, u below. 
The late Professor Clottgh is vidl tmntin as a graciful, tenAr ffit, 
and as Ihi stholarly tratulator ^ Plulareh. The Itittrt faatett h^ 
inltrtst, net Uogrnphical only, iiil literary — diiAisiing, as Ihey d^, tAt 
most imferlant gMiHoui of Ike lime, afuxiyt in a genial ifirit 
*' Kmaint" include faptri on " R^renehmttU at Oxford;" an fy^taer 
F. fV. l^noman's Seat " Tie Sin/; " on iVordsvwiA ; on the FormalhH 
tf Classieal Etfglish ; on seme Modem Poems (Matthrm Arnold and tht 
lalt Alexander Smith), &-c. Sr-e. 

of Oriel College, Oxford. With a Memoir by F. T, PALCRATa. 

TLird Edition. Fcap. Svo. 6j-. 


" FrwH tht higher wind of cullhial/d, all-^ualioaing, but still amsrr- 
valive England, in ihii our puasled geHeration, ut Ji> hbI titm> ^ any 
tOtarana in liltralure so characUrislk as Ihi peons 0/ Arthur Hugh 

Claugh." — Frasek's Magazine. 

Dante DANTE'S COMEDY, THE HELL. Tianskled by 

W. M. RossETTi. Fcap, Sto. elolb. 5/. 
" The aim ef this translalwn of Dante may be summed %p in Biie mtrd 
—Lilaalily. . . , Te /tJ/ow Daiite seiilenee fur sentence, line for line, 
■werdforwerd—nHlher more nur less — has been my strenuoni cadeavaur." 
— Author's Preface. 

De Vere.— THE INFANT BRIDAL, and olher Poenw. By 
AuBKEV Db Vere. Fcap. gvo. ;j-. 6d. 
" Mr. De Fere has taken Ais plaec among Ihefoels af the day. Pure 

Doyle (Sir F. H.).— Woiks by sir Francis Hastings Doitle, 
Professor of Poetiy in the University ot Oxford : — 

Fcap. 8vo, 7j. 
" Good viine needs no bush, nor good verse a fr^aie ; and Sir FroHeii 
Deylis verses run bright and clear, and smack of a classic vinbip. . . . 
His chief charaeleris<ie, as il ii his greatest eharm, is Ike simple manliness 
■which gives force to alt he -wHtes. It is a characlerislie in these days rare 
enough." — Exami!<e 

LECTURES ON POETRY, delivered before the Umversity of 
Oiford in iS6g. Crown Era. y. W. 

Three Lectures : — (i) Inaugural ; (i) Prmnncial Fedry: {3) Dr 
IVfOHnan's "Dream 0/ Gerontius." 

"Pull 0/ Ihoughlfiil discrimination and fine insight: the lecture on 
' Prtn/incial Ihelry' seems to us singularly true, eloquent, and instmetive." 
— Spkctator. 

Evans — brother fabl\n'S manuscript, and 

OTHER POEMS, By Sebastian Evans. Fcap. Svo. doih. 

Fumivall.— LE MORTE D'ARTHUR. Y.dUed from the ffarlam 
M.S. 3251, in the British Nfuseum. By F. J. Ft;iisiVAi.L, M.A. 
With Essajby llie kte Hekbebt Colekihge. Fcap, 8yo, y/.W, 

Loekiiig fa Iki inleresi tfuiBtn by to many thetuandi in Mr. Temtyfrn'i 
Arl&Krian fotms, Ike editor and fuMiihcrs kmi thmighl that At aid 
vtrtion avald possta ioiuiderabU interat. It ii a reprint B/ Iht idiiraui 
HarlanH sofy ; aniii aifompanied by index aud gteaary. 

Garnett.— IDYLLS AND EPIGRAMS. Chiefly Irom the Greek 
Anthology. By ItiCHARo Gaunstt. Fwp. 8vo. it. W. 

"■A cAarmitig liItU hook. J^or Eiigtiih readrri, Mr. Gamrtfi Imiisla- 
latiBHi wUl oftn a new vmrld e/ lAaugii."— V/EsruifSTKn Review. 

GUESSES AT TRUTH. By Two Brothers. With Vigiieile, 
Tide, Biid Fromispiecc. New Edition, with Memoir. Fcap. 8va 61. 

" TAe f^Itmiing ytar vms mcMPrabli far the (emmtntimml ^ tlu 
' Gutsses at TtiilA,' He and his Oxford bmllier, living ai itey 
remLint and free inlerehanga of tkeugkt en fueilieiu if philBtepiy and 
iittnUmre and art; dt/igfiliitg, eath ofUum, in the epigrammatie lerstma 
wiui is the (harm of the ' i^nsfei' of Paxal.aHd lite ' CaratSrti' ef La 
Bmyirt— agreed to uUer themselMS in thit /arm, and the book appeared, 
aHouymausly, in two volumes, in 1827."'— Memo] ». 

Hamerton. — A PAINTER'S CAMP. By Philip Gilbert 
Hamerton. Second Edition, revised. Extra fcap. Svo. %t. 

Book I. }n England; Book II. In SeoUand; Book III. /» Fratut. 

litis it t/ie sloiy of an Artist's encampments and adventures. Tie 
headings of a few ihapters may so-ve to eoiivey a nohon of the ckuractir 
Bf the iooi: A Ifa/t on tie Lancatiire Moors; lAi Author hit oi 
Housekeeper and Cook ; Tents and Beets for the tligklanJi ; TAe AiUMer 
encamps on an uninhabiiat Island; A Lake Voyage ; A Gipsy founts 
ta Glen Cee ; Concerning Moonlight and Old Castles; A littU Frmek 

City ; A Farm in the Autunois, &'e. &"(. 


" Jiu faga ifiartU leitk Aaffy turns oj txfrtuuH, ml a/ra v/dl-tft4 
mmcdeUs, and many aisfmtlioHi-whUk art Uu fruit of attintat stmdy and 
wilt r^Utlien en tht umplieattd fkammtna »/ human life, at wtll at *f 
K Review. 

ETCHING AN"D ETCHERS. A Treatise Criiical and PiactJaJ. 

Bjr P. G. Hauektun. VTiih Original Plaies by Rembrandt, 

Callot, Dujakdin, Paul Putter, &c. Royal Svo. ilaU 

momcco. 31 J. dd. 

"nil a loart e/aAitk author, printer, and puNishrr may aliitfitl 

proud. It it a VMri, tan, of whiih nam but a gmmnt artitt ctuid ty 

pattihUity havt itm the authnr." — Saturday Review. 

Herschel. — the ILIAD OF homer. TiaiuUted into English 
HexamEten. By .Sir John Herschel, Rart 8<ra> tSt. 

A vtrnon of tht Jliadin Eiqfith Hixamelrri. Tht quatiaH of Hvmtrit 
Irauilation it fully diatused in Ikt Pre fact. 

"It itadmiraiti, not only for many intrinsK mtrili, but at agrtal 
man't tribute ta Genius."~lLi.VSttUi.r&o London News. 

Q KfuJeia Education. Iti Caose and AnCidole. 

73; main atjWl of this Essay is to point out how the tmolienal rltmtHl 
which underlies tht Fmi A tit is disregarded and undaidoped at this tint 
10 far at (de^ite a fretenie at filling it iifi) la conttiluU an EJucafianal 

HYMNI ECCLESL«. Sit "Theological Section." 

Huxley (Professor).— LAY SERMONS, ADDRESSES, 

AND REVIEWS. By T. H. Huxley, LL.D., F.R.S. 8vo. 

lor. W. 

Fourteen diwourses on the follmoing subjects :—0h the Adfisablentis af 

Improving Natural Knowledge; Emaneipalian—Bla<k and White; A 

Liieral Edueatien, and vihere le find it; Scientijie Edueativn ; on tht 

Educational Valut of the Natural llittery Seieuea ; on tht Study of 

Zeotegy; en tht Physical Basis of Life; the Scientijie Aspects ef Pati- 

thiism ! an a Piece ^ Chalk ; Geologieal Ctnlemparaneity and Periittmt 

Types ef li/t ; Geolegiial Rcfona ; the Origin of Sfeeitt ; Criticisms cm 

the " Origin of Species;" en Descarief " Discourse touehing the Method 

ef uting am' s Reason rightly and of setting Scientific Truth." 


Kennedy. — LEUENDARv fictions of the irish 

CELTS. Collected aiid Nanaicd by PATitiCK Kennbiiv. Crown 
8vo. Wllh Two IWm 

"A viry admirablt pvfitiUr idtflkm oftht Irish fairy ilena andUgmJi, 
intvkiek lM«a wka art /amiliar taUM Mr. Crater's, and Mktr sdatieiu 
^ tkt lame iiiJ, xnll find mtuh that u fitii, andjull of 0it fteiliar 
vivaeity and humour, and lemrlima aim q/ Ikt ideal itaiilv, ef tie true 
Celtic i^ni./,"— SpkctatoK. 

Kingsley {Canon).— .Wrt/w '■Hisromc Sbctios." "Wokks 
OF Fiction." and "PHiwiSOPHVi" alte "Jovemlz Books," 
OKi/ " Theouxjv." 

THE SAINTS' TRAGEDY : or, The Tree S1017 of Elizabeth of 
Hungary. By lUe Rev. Chakles KjngsLKV. Willi a Preface by 
the Rev. F. D. Maubice. Third Edition. Fcnp. 8vo. 5^- 


Lowell (Professor) — among mv books. Six Essits. 

By James Kussf.ll Lowkli, M.A.. Profeuor of Belles Leltres 
in llsrvatd College. Crown 8vu. 71. fid. 
Six Eisays : DtyJcn ; Witchcraft ; Skaiafeare Once More ; Naa 
England Two Cciiluriei age; Ltising; Rmiatau and thi SeoH- 

RussEU. Lowell. Fcnp. Svo. ti. 
" Under the Willows is cat oj the moil admirable hits of idyllK tmrk, 
thorl as if is, or ftrhaps btcausi it is short, that hccPt beettdotte in om- gene- 
r.)/(OM."— Saturday Review. 

Masaon (Professor).— essays, biographical and 
CRITICAL. Chiefly on the British Fuels. By Davio Massos, 
LL.D., Professor of Rhetoric in the Uuiversily of Edinburgh, 
Svo. I3J, dd. 



" DiiUn^ishfd by a remarkable power r>/ annlym, a elatr sinitmmt 
tf Ike acUml facts ot vAUA sfeailathn h iased, and an afifrapriale 
itaHfy tf langiuige. These essays should befofular wilh serieus mett." — 
Athene I'M. 

Sketch of the History of Brilish PioscFiclion. Crown 8va p.tii. 
" Valuable for Us lucid analysis of fmidamental frineiples. Us brtoilh 
v/vietii, aiid luilaiHed atiimnli^n ef style." — Spectator. 

MRS. JERNINGHAM'S JOURNAL. Second Edition. Extra fop. 
8vo. 3j. &/. A Poem of the bomioir or domestic class, "purporting 
to lie the joumal of a. iiewly-niBrried lady. 

" Oiu quality in the piece, sufficient of itsdj to claim a moments alien- 
Hon, is thai it is unique — original, indeed, is no/ too strong a word — in 
the manner o/ils canceftioa and aumliiin." —Pall MALt Gazette. 

Mistral (F.).— MIRELLE: aPasloralEpicofProvcnca TrniE- 
laled by H. Crichton. Eitra fcap. 8»o. 6s. 

" TTiis is o capital translation of the elegant and richly-coloured pastoral 
efic foeiit of M. Mistral xohich, in 1B59, he dedicated la enthustcalie 

terms to Lamartine. II tivnid be hard to ottr/iraise the 

itotrlnas and pleasing fnshiuss of this chanmng epic." — ATitEN.tUM. 

Myers (Ernest).— the PURITANS. By Ernest Mvebs. 
Extra fcap. Svo. cloth. 2^. (>d. 
** It is not too much to call it a really grand fioem, stately and dtgnifed, 

and showing not only a high poetic mind, kit also great faaier aitr poetic 
tipres>iau."—'Ln'^tJtXV CHURCHMAN. 

Myers (F. 'W. H.).— poems. By F. W, H. MVEES, E«lra 
fca|).8vD. 4f. &/. CoiUnining " ST. PAUL." "St. JOHN," and 
other Poems. 


POETRY. By John T. Nettleship, Extra fcnp. Byo. ts. 6d, 


RoDEN Noel. Fcip. Svo. da. 

" Bealrice U in many rnffcl! a noble poon; U Jisflays a sflniaur 
»} laitdssapf fainting, a strong drfinitt praiiian of highly-eoleHrtd dtBnf- 
lien, tviicA iftu luiv/kM ban nirptisfi." — Fall Mall Gazette 

Norton. — the lady of LAGARAVE. BjtheHox. Uu. 

NuKTON. WiLh Vignette and Fioalispiecc Sixth Edition. 

Fcap. Svo. 4J. 6J. 
" TTitrt it tie lack ef vigour, nefa!ltrifg of fvaer, fimly tj fassiai, 
mmeltirigit dacHfilion, miich mmieal i^ene. . , . fuUg/tiou^will- 
txfritiedf and may te cljiied amang htr best tMrts." — Tiues. 

TIMES. Foenu on Ihe days of ArchUihop I.«igtitiiii and tbt 
Scottish CovcnauL By Orwelu Fcap. Svo, 5/. 
" Purttasli and faulUes! preeisioH of {anguagfjtki fruUi if He^thet^, 
insight ihU human natitrt, and IhHy sympathy." — NONCONFORMIST. 

Palgrave (Francis T.).~ESSavs on art. By F«AHa» 
Turner Palgrave, M.A., Ule Fdtow of Exeter C<dl^(^ 
Oxibrd. Eictra fcap. Svo. &r. 
Alalrrady — Dyft — Hoimatt Hunt — Hrrbtrt — Fettry, Proa, imd So* 
latioHoliim in Art— Sculpture i« En^aiid—Tke Alitrt Crati, &v. 

pALGKAVE. GemEdition. With VignelleTillc byjKENS. 31.W. 

Patmore. — Woiis by Covkstrv Patmorb 1— 

Book I, Tfie BOrolhal ; Book II. The EsfomaU ; BooK IIT. 
Faithful for Evtr. WilA Tametion CAurcA Tnucr. Tin) (w&. X^a^ 

THE VICTORIES OF LOVE. Fgap, 8vt>. 4^. td. 

Tkt iritrinsk merit of his poem u-ill SKure it a pcmianmt flatt in 
lileiatHre. . . . Mr. Patmort has fiiUy earned a flaee in the calalogue 
aj poels by the finished idialiiation of dsmesHc lifi." — SATURDAY 

Pembcr (E, H.). — the tragedy of lesbos. a 

Dramatic Poem. By E. H Pember. Fcap. 8vo. 4J. &/. 
Fi'imJcd ii/fii the ilary of Sappho. 

Rhoades (James).— poems. By James Rhoades. Fcap. 
Svo. 4J. hd. 
POEHS AND Sonnets. Cimttnli : — Ode to Harmony ; To the Spirit 
ef l/Hresl; Ode to IVinlet ; Tkt Tunntl ; 7!> Ike SpirU of Beauty; 
Song of a Leaf; By the Rotha ; Ah Old Orchard; Lm-e anil Rest .- llie 
Flowers Surprised ; On the Death of Aritmui Ward; THi Tuv Palkl ; 
The Ballad of Uttit Maisie ; ScniiHs. 

RossettL — Works by Christina Rossetti : — 
by D. G. RossEiTi. Second Edilion. Fcap. Svo. 51. 
"She handUs her little marvel toilh that rare poetic disetituinution wkith 
neither exhausts 1/ of its simple wonders 6y pushing symbolism tOBfar,ner 
keeps those ■wonders in Ike merely fainlous and capricious stage. In fact 
she has produced a true children's poem, which is far more Jdighlfid to 
the mature Ikan to children, though it would ie deligkljul la all." — 

two Designs by D. G. RossettI. Fcap. 8vd. 6r. 
" Miss Rossetti' s poems are of the hind lahich retails Shelters dtfitiilion 
^ Poetry as the record of the best and happiest moments of the best and 
happiest minds. . . , They are Hie the piping of a iird on tie spray in 
the santhitie, or the quaint singing with vihich a child amuits ilsdf'aihtn 
it forgets that anybody is lislening."—%Ki\iY.OKt Review. 

Rossetti (W. M.). — DANTE'S HELL. J«"Dantk." 
FINE ART, chiefly Conlemporary. By William M. Rossetti. 


Thh jvlHint eeruijls of Criticism on Csntcmporary Art, repriHlid 
fraiH Fraset, The Satuiday Reiicw, The I'all Mall Guelte, atui oIIkt 


B; Mary K. Robv. Fcap. Svo. y. 

Shairp (Principal).— kilMAHOE, a Highland Paaoral, with 
otlier Poems. By John Campbell SHArBF. Fcap. Svo. 5/. 

" KiliHahot is a Highhnd /\ular,i/, redoUnl of the iminw soft air 0/ 
tAt ifalern Lechs and Moors, sktlckei eul -mitk remarkable grate and 
ficlurtsjuetust." — Satukdav Revikw. 

Smith. — Works bjr Alexander Smith ;— 

A LIFE DRAMA, AND OTHER POEMS. Fcap. Svo. 2,. 6^. 

CITY POEMS. Fcap. 8m 51. 

EDWIN OF DEIRA. Second Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 5/. 

"A potm whiek ij markfd by the strength, mstained s^eet/nea, and 
a>itt/aet texture 0/ rial ii/f."—liofi.TH British Review. 

Smith. — POEM.S. By Catherine Barnakd Smith. Fcap. 
Svo. 5/. 
" IVeallhyiH/eeling, meaning, finish, eind grace ; nst tciihout pataon, 
which is suppressed, but the keener Jor that," — Athenaum. 

Smith {Rev. Walter). — hymns of CHRIST AND THE 
CHRISTIAN LIFE. By the Rev. Walter C Smith, M.A. 

Fcap, S\'o, &. 

" These are among the sweetest sacred poems vie have read far a hug 
timt. ft^fh HO profuse itnagery, expressing a range of feeling and 
txprasion by hb means unetmmen, they are true and tltvated. and Ihar 
fathai is prt/ouHd and siMfiJe."—No«caNrosi.i.iisr. 


Stratford de Rcdcliffc (Viscount). — SHADOWS OF 
THE PAST, in Vene. By Viscount Stratford dk Rbd- 

Ci-iFPE. Crown 8vo. loi. bd. 
" Tie vigorvus wordi of ont vAa iai acted vigoromlv. Thiy comtint 
tht fervour of piditkiaH and pgti." — Guardian. 

Trench. — Worke by K. Chbnkvix Trknch, D.D,, Archbishop 

ol Dublin. Set aha SatieHs "Philosophy," "Theology," &c. 
POEMS. Collected and arranged anew. Feap. Sva -js. W. 
ELEGIAC POEMS. Third Edition. Fcap. 8vo. ai. 6d. 

CALDERON'S LIFE'S A DREAM : The Great Theatre of the 
World. With on Essay on bis Life and Genios. Fcap, Svo. 

arranged, wiih Noles, by R. C. Tkench, D.D, Archbishop of 
Dublin. Extra fcap. Svo. ss. M. 
This voluittt is calied a " HoviehcidBaok" by this name imflying that 
it is book for all — that there is nothing in it to preterit it from ieing- 
coitfideHlly placid in the hands of every member of the htmsthald. Speci- 
mens of ail elassts of poetry are given, including sdectioni from living 
authors. The Editor has aimed to produce a took "ti/hith the emigratit, 
finding room for liiUe not absoltddy necatary, might yet find 1 30m /or 
in his truut, and tie traveHer in his tttapsaek, and that on some nanvw 
shdves vihere there are few books thii might be «nt." 

" 7%e Archbishop has eonferred in this ddighlful volume an important 
gift en the whole Engiish-speaiiHg populalion of lie awHl/."— Pall 
Mall Gazette. 

SACRED LATIN POETRY, Chiefly Lyrical. Selected and arranged 

for Uie. Second Edition, Corrected and Improved. Fcap. Svo. 


' ' The aim of the present volume is lo ejer to members af ntr EnglisA 

Church a collection of the best sacred I^lin poetry, such as Ihty shall be 

able entirely and heartily to accept and approve — a collection, that is, in whic/i 

th^ shall HBt be evermore liaile to be offended, and to have the current of 

their sympathies checked, by coming upon that which, kaviever betaUiftU as 



ftOry, Bml^la^UrrtspKUIIinmtUtrrjtttandcBndimH^in wlutA,la«, 
Ihty lAail net /tar tkal mora are tting laid /or thtm, (b rntaMgli Mm 
UHmoara in admiralioH for ought johiek ii iiuomiittHi viiiA lAar /aiU 
and/mity to Ihar aaiH ifiiriluaJ matAei." — Preface. 

By the Ret. CHABI-ES TbN!(TSOI« 
1 his brother, the Poet Laureate. Fcap. 

Turner, — sonnets. 

Tl^RNBEU Dedicated ti 

Sva 4;. 6d. 

" Tit SfumO are deditalid to Mr. Tmii^wH fy Ait irolitr, aid Aavt, 
indtf€ti4intty 0/ their aitrits, an interest of asiotiation. Tkev Mh Imxte 
virile in simple txpretsive Samn ; both lope to tetuh liiir imagery in 
tfithHs rather than in formal similts; both have « delicate pere^ioH 
tf rhythmical mofemenl, and thus Mr. Turner has occasional lines tphicA, 
fyr fhraa and music, might be oierited te his brother. . . Hr twma the 
hauHls of the tuild rest, the shady nooks toA/rr light ^uivrrs ihrvigh /he 
leaves, iJu ruralities, in shvrt, of tic land of imagiualian." — Athenauh. 
SMALL TABLEAUX. Fcap. Sro, ^s. bd. 

" Thtst bri^ fatnis have net only a peculiar hind <f interta for the 
student of Engliih poetry, but arc intrinsieally dtOghtful, and will rtwartl 
a cartful and frequent perusal. Full of niiivde, pi^, love, and ktawltd^ 
of natural objects, and each expressing a single and geiterally a simple 
subject by means ef mmule and origtHol pictorial touches, there sonnets 
have a plan of their awH." — PALL MaI-I. GAZETTE, 

Vittoria Colonna. — LIFE and poems. By Mn. Henrv 
RosCoE. Crown 8vo. gj. 

The life of VUtoria Coionna, the c/iehraitJ Manhesa di Pacara, hat 
received but cursory notice from any English writer, though in every 
history of Jhsly her name is taenlion/d with great honour among the poett 
of the sixteenth century. "In three hundred and ffiy years" says her 
biographer, Visconii, "there has been no other IlalioH lady toho can it 
etmfared to her. " 

"// is Tiri/ttn with good taste, with guich and inttUtgent sympathy, 
oecasioHolly with a real freshness and charm of style." — PALL Mall 

Webster. — Works by Augusta Wbdster :— 

^^ If Mrs. Webster only remains true to herself, she will ussuteiHy 

DRAMATIC STUDIES. Extra fcnp. Bvo. S/. 

" A vdiimi ai strQiigty martal by ftrftd loilt ai fy peak fawtr." — 


into English Vene. Exlni fc^ Svo. y. 6J. 

" Ctoimas and simplkily cuiHiiiied JvUh liUrary siilV—ATHEKMOH. 

"Mrs. IVtistir'i 'Dramatic Stadia' and 'Translation of Premi. 

I Urui' Aavr sBon for htr an homnirabU ptofi antcng our /ernuli fivti. 

She vnifes iiith rrmarAabU vigour ami dramatic realiiation, and bids fair 

tsht tht meil mccessfiU claimant of Mrs. BrtrwHln^i mantle." — Bbitish 

Qi;AttTEiii,Y Review. 

MEDEA OF EURIPIDES, Literally translrted into English Verse. 
Extra fcsp. Svo. .y. id, 
"Mrs. IMslfr's traiulalien surfaisa our tOaiail cxfitclatiam. Jt is * 
fhetegrafk of liu original viilAoul any of that karshuea lekieh lo efitn 
aicamfania a phiitBgr<tfh."—'^rsvuimTS.^ Review. 

"Mrs. IVebiltr ha! shswH US that she is abtt to draw admirably from 
Ae l^e ; Hat she can observe viUh suitldfy, and retiiUr her ciserx'ations 
with ddicaey ; that she can imfersonate complex conceptiens, and venture 
ints which few Irving mriters caiifiliinv Art"."— GuARDlAS. 
PORTRAITS. Second Edition. Extra fcap. Svo, Ji. 6rf. 

'Mrs. K'ebslet's poems exhibit simplicity and lenderness . . . htr 

\ taste i! perfeel . . . This simplicity is combined with a tnbttety of thai^ht. 

I fitliitg, and observation which demand that attention which only real 

Imers of poetry are apt to bestow, . . . If she only remains true lo herself 

whe vn'll most assuredly take a higher rani as a poet than any vtman has 

jw(nb*it"— Westminstbr Review. 

" Ifith this folume before as it would be hard to deny her the proud 
pesitien of the first living English podess."—^%hl\\<^^)i.. 

Woodward (B. B., F.S.A.) — specimens of the 

DRAWINGS OF TEN MASTERS, from llic Royal Collection 
at Windsor Castle. With Descriptive Text by the l»lc B. B.WoOD- 
WAHD, B.A,, F.S.A., Librarian to the Queen, and Keeper of 
Prints and Driwin(pi. Illuslraled by Twenty Autotypes by 
Edwakjis niiJ Kirin. In 4(0. handiiomely bound, price zy. 


Rafkad, Julie Romatu, Lemarda da Viiui, Giorgant, Paid Vtnmae, 
/'BHiHn, AlbtrlDurtr. Hnibtin, attatafty lAf Auiflyfr (Cari-m) frtea. 
inMii may tt uarpllJ as, iofiar,ptrJa:tTtproertiatioiueflktiirigitndt. Im 
nvit ciua lomt reductUn in tat -wot nteeiiaty, artd that tin dtmataeia 
of lit drmiiiHg iSitlf htan i/engiitH. Brief bhgraphkal mttnaranda ef 
Iht lift if taih mattrr are imurltd, loldf le prnxnttht netd of refa-eaa 
to ethfrverki. 

Woolner.— MT beautiful lady. By Thomas Woolni*. 
With a Vignette by ARTHUR HtTGUKs. Third Edition. Feap, 
Bvo. 5/, 
" !l ii clrarfy the product of no iJlt kcur, but a Ai^y-nmtavti and 
laithfully-exiciUid iaili, stlf-impasrd, and frompted ^ that imuard yearn- 
ing to uttrr gnat thoughts, and a jvtallA of pttssionaie ftding ■aihkk u 
foiHi gtHim. No man tan read this poem teitheut ieng struch ly Iht 
filHtti and finish of Ihr ■wcrkmanship, so le sfeai, as will as by Iht that- 
tmtd and uiiprtUnding loftiness of thaigkt which tenadts Iht tiiAale." — 

GLont t 

WORDS FROM THE POETS. Selected by the Editor of " R«y* of 
Sanlighl." With a Vignette and Franliipiece. iSmo. Eitra 
elnlli gilt, Is. 6d. Cheaper Edilion, iSmo. limp., li. 



Under the title GLOBE EDITIONS, iho Publishers are 
issuing a uniform Series of Standard English Authors, 
carefully edited, dearly and elegantly printed on toned 
paper, strongly bound, and at a small cost. The names of 
the Editors whom they have been fortunate enough to 
secure constitute an indisputable guarantee as to the 
character of the Series. The greatest care has been taken 
to ensure accuracy of text ; adequate notes, elucidating 
historical, literary, and philological points, have been' sup- 
plied ; and, to the older Authors, glossaries are appended. 
The series is especially adapted to Students of our national 
Literature ; while the small ])rice places good editions of 
certain books, hitherto popularly inaccessible, within the 
reach of all. 

Shakespeare — the complete works of WILLIAM 
SHAKESPEARE. Edited by W. G. Clark and W. Aldts 
Weight. Ninety-first Thousand. Globe 8vo. jr. (ui. 



"A marvel b/ himtiy, thmfmcis. and temfadiiai. 
flayt, poems, and tonaas—are conlaiiud in one imall voiumt: ya the 
page it perfectly clear and readatU. , . . fur tie busy man, aime all 
fyr the ■working Student, lie Globe Edititn is tit best ef all existing 
Shtitsptart ^iti."— Atrshaum. 

THE ROUND TABLE. The Edition of Caxtom, revised for 

kMndem Use. WiUi an InlroducUon by SiR EOWARD StraCHEV, 
Bart. Globe 8vo. 3;. 6./. 


SCOTT. With Biographical Essay by F. T. pAUiluvi. 
Globe 8vo. Ji. &/. New Edilion. 

" Ai a fvjvlar eJition U least! nethmg In he datrei, Tkr-saanl^ 
suti an oiit hat long tees fill, c^mkiiattg rtal tx(dimr€ teitA tAa^iiBi' 


Burns. — the poetical works and letters of 

ROBERT BURNS. Edited, with Life, by AtzxANDER SluiM. 
Globe Svo. y. (>d. }4ew Edition. 

" Thi warii of the hard havt Tievtr httn ifffrnd in tufh a temfUttfirm 
n a ri»^ ftf/umt."— Glasgow Daily Hekald. 
" AdmiraiU in a!i rapali" — Spsctatok. 


CRUSOE. By Defoe. Edited, from the Originnl Edition, by 
J. W. Clark. M.A., Fellow or Trinity Collcee. Cambridge. 
With Introduction by Henry Kincsley. Globe Svo. y 6d. 

" Tie Globe EdUitm of JtoHnien Cniine ii a itvi le km/e and te iat- 
ItitprtHttd after the original editkni, wilA the quaint old ifeUiftg, aiu 
it fubliiked in admirable style as regards type, paper, and bitiding. A 
viell-written aad genial biographical inlmduetioH, by Mr. Henry Kingilej, 
is likeaiise an attraiiive feature of this tdkien." — MORNINO StaK. 

With Biographical Essay by Proressor Masson. Globe 8*0l 
y. f>d. 

This edition includes the vMe of CtddsmilKs Misccttantotu WoAs-^ 
the Viearof Watefield, Flays, Poems, &-e. 0/ the memoir the ScdtsMAN 
newspaper ■mrUes: " Sntk an admirable eompendium of lie faett ef 
Goldsmith's life, and so larejul and mitmlt a deUneatioH ef Or muted 

trails of his peculiar chararler, as ta be a very model of a lUerar}- 
biography , " 




Edited, nith Memoir aii<i Notes, by Professor Ward. Globe 
8va 3J. &/. 
" The iaoi is Aamisome and handy. . . . Tlif Hale.' are many, and 
tit mailer of thtin is nih in itlerejt."—ATHCHXiJM. 

Spenser. — the complete works of edmund 

SPENSER. Edited (ram the Origioal Edilions >nd Maiiuscripts, 

by R. Morris, Member of the Council of the Philological Bociely. 

Willi a Memoir by J. W. Hales, M.A., late Fellow of Christ's 

College, Cambridge, Member of the Council of the Philological 

Society. Globe Svo, jj. 6d. 

" A cemfleli and dearly printed tditisn of the u-kolt m/ris bJ Sptntfr, 

<artfully eoltated vilh the originals, 'with copious glossary, wvrlhy — and 

higher f raise it nee<is nol^af the beautiful Clabe Series. The work is 

edited with all the lare so neble a foet deserves.''' — Daily News, 

Edited, irith a Revised TcxI, Memoir, umI Notes, by W. D. 
CHRin'iE. Globe Svo. y. 6d. 

" The Tuart oj the Editor has been doiu with much fmlutss, tare, and 
kturwlcdge ; awtll-mritleu and exhaustive nemoir is prefixed, and the nala 
and teil together have ieia so wdl treated as to make Ihe volume a fitting 
ampHHioH far these tiikiek have frettdid it — whieA is saying not a 
little."— DMX.'i Telegraph. 


PER. Edited, with Biographical Inlraduction and Notes, by W. 

*,* Other Slandard Worki are in the Press. 

• The Volume] of this Series niiy also be had in a variety of mor 
and cadf bindings »l very moderate prices. 



Uniroimly printed in iSmo., with Vignette Titles by Sir 
Noel Patom, T. Woolner, W, Holman Hunt, J. El 
MiLLAis, Arthur Hughes, &c. Engraved on Steel by 
Jeens. Bound in extra doth, 4;. 61/. each volume. Also 

kept in morocco. 

" Mairi. MaimillaH have, in tkdr Celdoi Tnamry Sfria espftially, 

Jirvfidtd tditions of ilandard toorts, jvlurtia b/ stlaltd poetry, aitd 
oripnal eomfositioni, vikkk eiilUle Ihis seria /<' it ca//ai (httitaL 
Nath'mg can be bitter then tie literary txentthn, nMing more d^piitl 
lAan tAe viafer^ itn>rimaiuAifi."—BfLfti!>H Qu-artehlv Revikw. 

Selected and arranged, with Notes, by Francis Tubner 

" Tkii Jdighlfui little volume, the GoldeH Treasury, lekiek contauu 
Many of the bat original lyrical piece! and longs in our language, grvHfed 
with care and ikill, lo as to UlHilrale each other like the pictures in a 
taell-arraHged gallery."~~Qv/i.*.x^R.iM Review. 


Selected and arranged by Covbntbv Patmosb. 
"It imludes jpecimeni of all the great masters in the art of poetry, 
selected with the matured judgment of a man conccHlrated on obtaining 
insight into the feelings and tastes of ehddheed, and desirous to ateaiat its 
Untst impulses, to eullival/ Us keenal seitsiiililies."~-'iAoMiifa Post. 


THE BOOK OF PRAISE. From Ihe Best English Hymn Wrilers. 
Selected and arranged b; StR RouNDELL Palmer. A Neui and 
Enlarged Edition. 

" All frrvieHt cempilalhis of this kind must undaiiahfy for thi prtsent 
give flact lo thi Book of Praisi. . . . The idtcHon has bun made 
tkr^'hoat vnlh sound judgmenl and critical taste. The fains itruolvtii 
III this eoinpilatioH imtit have ieen imtnemr, embracing, as it does, tPery 
writer of note in this speciid province of English literature, and ranging 
over Ihe most widely dh'Crgent tracks rf reliant thought." — Saturday 

THE FAIRV BOOK ; the Best Popular Fairy Stories. Selected anif 
rendered anew by the Author of "John Halifax, Gentleman." 

" A ddighlfut idection, in a delighlfiU external /oriH ; fidt of tkt 
fhysical splendour and vast ofulence of proper fairy tales."— SrEC7*.T0Vi. 

THE BALLAD BOOK. A Selection o! the Choicest British Ballids. 
Edited by William ALLiNCitAU. 

" //is lastt as a Judge of old poetry will be found, by all aeqnainled iiiith 
the varism readings of old English ballads, true enough to Justify his 
undertaking so critical a /iiri,"— Saturday ReviSW. 

THE JEST BOOK The Choicest Anecdotes and Sayings. Selected 
and arranged by Makk LeuoN. 

With Notes and Clossatiol Index. By W. Alois Weight, M,A. 
" ne beautiful little iJl/ion of Baeou'i Essays, nvai before us, does 
credit to the taste and schB/Hrshif of Mr. Aldls Wright. . . . lipids the 
rtader in possession. efaU the essential literary facts and rhranotogy 
Mtttssary fir reading Ihe Essays in eoHHexioH with Bacon's life and 
times." — SrECTATOk. 



THE FILGRDI'S PROGRESS baattii WoddM 1^ vfaidi a v, 

SriwiTil bkI unnged bjr C F. Alxxamdul 
"A Bd7-*a^c&^m6Hva^&m/ Ai»7.'*— SnCTATOK. 

A BOOK OF GOLDEN DEEDS ot >B Tibs ^ iB Contna. 

Gathocd and auntcd u««. ^ like AMhor of " Tmt Hxn or 


"... Ti "iji ^.,1 - * 'rr f ji ' "^i 'ii'i i f ii ^ ii ■ r f iKiiii rt^ 

oBlt^amt/lMriaiapl^awMlM; a»i f Oar OMrt^i a at^id kam^ 
kmkafr^irtmt,m»d»tltttaKfmtl^tiifiolumAarwuk attwiib 
0m^a lamy »a^-lktmr. Wi iaor Mtm ma fr^ia pfi-iatt /ir a Ut^ 

Biofnphkal Hmoir, Nolo^ and GtcMBiy, by AucuxsKK 
Smith. Two Vok, 
"Beyond all fueOuH tUi it lit mtit htaaOflil t/i6»M »f Bunu 

^ m/."— EriKiiiBGB DAti.y Review. 

Ibc Original EditioD by J. W. Clakk, M.A., Fellow of Trinity 
Ci,Uege, Cambridge. 
" Mtitilalid and madifitd aiitioKi of tkii Efgliili rlaate art a mittk 

Ike rult, that a (heap andfirttfy lofy of it, rigiJfy exaet te Uu enpHal, 

will tt I. priu lo many book-buytri." — ExAtll^£K. 

THE REPUBLIC OF PLATO. Tbasslated into Englkh, \ridi jy J. U. Davies, M.A. and D, J. Vadoham, M.A. 
",* dairy a.-i (hiaf, littU iditioH." — ExAUlNBR. 

THE SONG BOOK. Words und Tuna from the best Poets and 
Miuiduu. Selected and artangHi by John Hcllau, Profetsot 
of Vocal Miuic in King'i College, London. 
" A ckeici coltti 'ion of Ihi sterling songs ef England, Scotland, and 

Irtlond, itilh til music of tack prefixed to Ike words. Horn muck tme 

lake^tsemi f':jsvre siua a took can d-^ts; and will disuse, toe trust, 

liro*i£A mrt / . , c 1/ .■.■'.' .'' — ^. wime. 


LA LYRE FRANCAISE. Selected and nrraneed, with Notes, by 
GusTAVE Masson, Frcucli Master in Harrow SdiooL 
A tde:tien efthe bat Frttich songs and lyrical pieca. 

Old Boy. 

htalthy boek about beyi 

" A ftr/tel grm of a iooi. Tktbest and 
fvT bi^s that ever was viritUH." — Illustrated Tiues. 

A BOOK OF WORTHIES. Gathered from the Old Hutories uid 
written anew by the Author of "Thb Hkir of REDCLVn^" 
With Vipiettt 
"Ah admirablt additkn to an admrailt ttrus" — WsSTMlNSTJtR 








nader ao cireamMuiae* to b* 
en (ram tli> Bnildiii<